I remember the beautiful mother who reminded me of Doris Day; her name was Rita. The family moved away when I was six or seven.
                   I remember the mother who looked kind of like Shari Lewis—the puppeteer and kids’ show host whose alter ego was Lamb Chop—and kind of like Gloria Okon—the weather lady on channel 11 who was also the spokesperson for Arnold bread. Curly strawberry blond hair. Cute and comforting. Not a bombshell like Rita, whose beauty was sometimes commented upon, with a mix of admiration and envy, by the other mothers in the neighborhood.
                   I remember the mother who looked like Shirley Booth in Hazel. She usually wore polyester stretch pants.
                  And I remember the mother of my best friend. She was one of my own mother’s canasta buddies. At the time she didn’t remind me of any movie actress or TV personality, but in retrospect I have an image of Anne Bancroft in The Graduate—perhaps because she once answered the door wrapped in nothing but a towel, straight out of the shower.

Called “one of the innovators of the short-short story” by Publishers Weekly, Peter Cherches has published three volumes of short prose fiction with Pelekinesis since 2013, most recently Whistler’s Mother’s Son (2020). His writing has also appeared in scores of magazines, anthologies and websites, including:  Harper’s, BombSemiotext(e), and Fiction International, as well as Billy Collins’ Poetry 180 website and anthology. His latest book is Masks: Stories from a Pandemic (Bamboo Dart Press, 2022). He is a native of Brooklyn, New York.