I fashioned a protective face mask out of Mom’s pajama pants. She passed away eight years ago. We donated her clothes and I was touched but not surprised to discover her Superman pajamas. Mom had always embraced younger styles. The fabric, a cotton flannel was warm and comfy like curling up under the covers. I tucked them away in the back of my dresser drawer.
In the days of Coronavirus, I decided to draft her pajamas into action. What could manifest ‘strength’ more than a mask with a Superman logo? I followed a list of directions for simple construction. My heart ached with that initial cut of the scissors through her pajama bottoms. It was pure destruction, as the legs dropped off and the remainder of the shapeless residue appeared deformed. But as the mask began to take shape, I sensed that Mom was safeguarding me. That’s the way she was. From another place she was materializing as a symbol of protection during a time of danger and uncertainty. The feeling of the soft fabric pressing against my mouth was like a kiss.
Lois Perch Villemaire lives in Annapolis, MD. She writes poetry, flash fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. Her work has appeared in Potato Soup Journal, 101 Words, FewerThan500, The Drabble, Pen-in-Hand, Flora Fiction, and Flash Frontier. She blogs for annapolisdiscovered.com and annapoliswellnesshouse.org.