What We Are
by Jeanette Lynes
My mother and
I are a myth by now. She's made a career of mourning
on my behalf. As for me, I've been swept to a low, dark place
where even water for brushing teeth must be boiled, where people
their business with sharp
intakes of breath. I don't speak the language.
It's my fate to spend part of each
year there. I always leave the weekend of the Tractor Pull - the
billows of black
exhaust filling the village make it easy to slip away. Coughing,
The foul whorls won't wash from my clothes, no matter how often
my mother scrubs then clips them, with white-birch pins, in her
Which myth are we? I know I heard it somewhere - the daughter
won't wash clean, the mother who scours, who scours.
Jeanette Lynes is all
es and ts.