The ocean receded. There is the mother. Once upon a time it was her
first and only divorce. But
is that a beginning? Then she lost her father. Once upon a time she
had no more men.There is the daughter. Someone walking in a circle. There is the
mother and there the daughter.
Outside the snow a stilling blanket. Inside the girl shape doubles
around our hands. We make donuts from my great-grandmother’s recipe. She feeds me three
generations. She feeds me butter
and whole milk and cream. She is happy until the mirror cracks. She
is happy until she isn’tand I’ll never understand. She says mirror mirror. She says I was no
great beauty. She chips the
pink tile from the bathroom walls. I think of it like my grandmother is
coming, my grandmotheris coming! My mother says she was clothed and fed but that’s where
her mother’s love ends. Still
grandma comes through her. See, there’s an insides. Edges sharpened
to a bitter blue keen.In my dream the snow covers her tracks and the deer make new
ones. Dinner is lovely
the garden is lovely. In reality I’m not sure these are my hands. I am
no great beauty says mymother and sets the table for two. Only daughter. I grasp the hem of
her skirt. I chew out a hole.
She talks for hours at the table. I leave slices of bread in the basket. I
learn how to run. MommyI’m sorry I can’t make you become. Now the clear blue anger. I am
going I should not be going
I should never go I best go now. She wants someone to open her.
Thinks she’s vessel, needs ananchor, wants to see herself make a shape in his hands. I eat with my
hands. Lick my fingers. My
father tells me I have beautiful eyes. Even without men there are
men. Mommy never touched me but when the dishes are dirtied there’s only me and her left to
blame. Even without men there
is violence. I’ll eat chicken over and over and like it. I’ll sleep and
sleep until noon. Mirror mirror. Her face shuts down like a spoon. There is my grandmother’s
china. Her color a bitter
blue keen. Once I had a mother. Someone walking in a circle. A heap
of pink tile in the sun. I turn off the path into shadow, put out my hands. Let me tell you what
literally. I am no great
beauty says my mother. The thing is she won’t ever just punish me.
This is my story and I’m not even listening. Her face is the first mirror I see.