BIRCH STREET: 1960 / Jeanie Thompson A woman was always singing in that house and we played a game called "Mother" at the Pugh's across the street. I was oldest, had to be "it." My duties were: scold Barbara, caress Bev and Amy, keep house, keep peace, like a real mother. We drew the world's boundaries -- kitchen, child's room, door. A woman was always singing -- A woman's voice the real house, not the make-believe one where I was too unsure to carry a tune. singing cool songs with confidence was always there. Sometimes it came from the kitchen, sometimes, the phonograph. I couldn't tell the difference, so when I heard the voice, I believed it was you, your cigarette burning in the ashtray while you buttered bread, sliced roast beef for our sandwiches, poured milk--small green mugs for us, little girls playing house. Today I put on EUa Fitzgerald singing Cole Porter, sat in the rocker and listened. I wanted to hear you. I thought I might smell Bev's clean, powdery smell, my "daughter" who has her own baby now, who doesn't remember, she's told me, living in the house, than any other. no childhood more
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1983
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