We didn’t want to go home
after a month of living with our tía who fed us Hohos and Pepsi,
who let us stay up past midnight,
let us sleep in till noon,
let us walk to the pool alone,
or spend all day playing Mario Bros.
Call us traitors.
Could you blame us?
With our home so freshly haunted
by your fallopian tubes,
your ovaries, your uterus,
sliced from your youngish body
by the cold edge of a doctor’s knife,
my sister and I, at thirteen and ten,
nothing but reminders of a trick
your body by force
gave up to the Ghost.
Did we know we were cruel
when you came for us, and we wailed,
hid under our cousin’s bed?
Does any child ever comprehend
they hold their mother’s Everythingness
inside their small fists?
How they might summon
with their adolescent nerve, Medea,
from spent, half-eaten women?
In that suicide trip
back to our house on Viall Street,
you unlatched your seatbelt,
tears erasing the yellow dashed highway,
your foot like lead on the gas till the dead
hills and slight patches of green bled
color into earthen color outside our windows,
the desert flashing its mad smile.
To this day we can’t remember
what my sister said, only how
the tone of her voice, flat but superior,
urged your foot from the petal,
compelled your hand to wipe the wet
from your eyes and let us live another day
inside the stew of your multiplying regrets.
Kristy Webster is a writer, artist and mother of two. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University and her Bachelor’s Degree from the Evergreen State College where she majored in creative writing, visual arts, and feminist studies. Her work has appeared in several online journals such as Lunch Ticket, Pithead Chapel, The Feminist Wire, Shark Reef Literary Magazine, Pacifica Literary Review, The Molotov Cocktail, Connotation Press, A Word With You Press, A Fly in Amber and in two print anthologies by GirlChildPress. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington.