The women in my family talk about marble rolling
pins and marriage with the humor of stubbed toes.
“Keep that cast iron skillet handy,” they say
in the presence of a new husband.
My grandma tells the story of the woman who rose
at midnight to prepare a meal on demand
for her slurring husband and his posse of drunk friends.
My mother hears this story and her head shakes, carries
three generations of “No, no, no,” though not
unwounded. The women in my family believe
a skirt above the knee is a sign scrawled across my
body, an invitation and an opening for every loss.
They tell stories about the Bukovinian ancestor
who, one moon-shine night, cut off his wife’s baby finger.
And the same day their voices strain with fear of women
standing high in pulpits, believing God’s voice would break
such vessels. I carry the dangers they stir
deep while autumn promise simmers
on the stove. The women in my family talk about marriage
and rolling pins, their voices the color of bruised apples.
Sarah Wallace graduated in 2018 from the Burman University English and Scholars programs. She is currently a master’s student in English and Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick.
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
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