She cut it on a milk bottle that slipped from her hand as she lifted it out of the insulated metal crate that sat beside the front door on the cement porch. I was there and heard the crash of glass and saw the milky white spill across the grey cement and run down the front steps. And then there were three big, bright, brilliant red rubies; perfect spheres against the dull grey cement. Caught in the sun they sparkled and danced and I was mesmerized. My friend pointed to the jewels, “Your mama ate a penny”, she said as she pointed. “That is why her blood’s so shiny.” I looked up to my mother holding her badly cut arm and watched the blood level its way to the end of her elbow and drip like a leaky faucet. Crimson droplets fell into the milky white pool. Fine, tiny veins grew like rivers with banks bathed in pink. It was so pretty, this white puddle painting streaked with pink and dotted with blood red. I saw her differently that day, as artist and performer. My mind full with the vision of her eating pennies like popped corn.