The first memory I have

of my mother is her

blowing smoke rings around me

in the kitchen.

She made shapes out of thin air.

I thought it was magic!

My sister walked in,

said something about this

not being good for me.

Mom blew another smoke ring, and

I watched it turn into a crown

with eyes wide with wonder.

My mother said, "Don't worry.

She's having fun."

My sister frowned. "Because she doesn't know

she's being poisoned.

She doesn't know she's being

hurt by the person who loves

her most."

I looked confused.

I've always had a

hard time knowing

when someone I love

is hurting me.