“I worked hard so my girls didn’t have to serve nobody else like I did except God”
Candy-colored bulbs frame a girl for a holiday.
If the wicked call from the other side, she doesn’t hear. Blinds shut. Devices
blink & twitter. Before it’s too late, her mother snaps a picture—anticipates
angst & oddly angled aches, strawberry letters. Whatevers.
The mother will mark the photo tomorrow. Sign. Seal. We’re all well!
—one of the last acceptable print messages. Meanwhile, Soup
for dinner, again? What else? It’s winter. Herbal constellations swivel in froth. Stir.
She samples with a lean near bowing. Steam on closed eyelids. Mothers ought to give thanks. Simeon, she thinks
instead, & then: her long-gone grandmother’s tattered Bible, the daughter’s
overdue library book
concerning States’ rights. Why’s that? She’s hardly felt
hated. X’s & O’s glow in the daughter’s palm. Look
how easy, the daughter often says. She is patient with her mother. Blessed
be the child at the center of snow & flu season. She flew past
blessings long ago. So far from a little girl, really.
Yona Harvey is the author of Hemming the Water (Four Way Books). She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.