94 What She Did Seem to Know: Moments after the needle slipped back out of her neck, the panicked cartwheeling, thrashing her bewildered eye fixed on you, who had broken the silver caul as she swam fish-fetus from the womb, you she had trusted all twenty years of her life, you who led her here to this place. What You Can Only Hope She Knew: The ragged hum of your voice in her ear, the torn stroke of your final caress. Ellen Saunders Taffeta As a girl, she perfected the fox-trot in the hotels of St. Louis. A taffeta skirt circled her ankles, its swishing sound followed her as she moved across the high ceilinged room with crystal chandeliers, the sounds of Glen Miller. Raven hair fell down her shoulders, her eyes like sapphires. Too soon, she married, moved to suburbia, 95 had seven children, and ceased to dance. She wore cotton skirts until she discovered no-iron polyester. The Beatles blasted from her radio. But she never forgot the dance, the way she was wrapped in taffeta the color of peaches. Hand Me Downs My mother lived her life inside a mask; not the kind to hide from
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 25, 2009
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