SHE HAD BECOME | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Family Issues Bookmark and Share


She’d become what her
Mother called, that type
Of girl. The type no decent

Man would want to know.
Mother’s emphasis, mother’s
Words. Still there like barnacles

On rock. Mother kept an eye
On her, at least as a child,
Wouldn’t allow bad language,

No boys, no talking at the
Dinner table, no mentioning
Of her menstrual cycles or

Sex, no laughing at rude jokes,
No complaining about things
(Things are as they are Mother

Said), must say your prayers,
Keep a clean tongue, don’t
Gossip. Mother sat on the porch

And gazed at the drive that led
Down from the road, thinking her
Husband would return. Steely faced,

Tight lipped, hands on her knees.
That type of girl. Seems odd now
To remember the words, the emphasis,

The knitted pattern of her words.
She remembered little of her father’s
Departure, only the aftermath, the dark

Fallout, the almost fascist regime that
Followed in her mother’s rule. He’d
Been, she recalls, like some phantom

Figure coming in at the dusk of day
And leaving at the dawn, silent and
Morose. Gone and not returned. That

Type of girl. Well shafted, her mother’d
Never say, but meant that, implied that
In her words. Mother is stuffed away

In some home now along with others
Equally dying, she visits her mother
Once a week if she can, dressed to the

Nines, hair done, face on, eyes bright,
Kind words. See that nurse, Mother’d
Say, she’s that type of girl, the same

Script, the same old play, same tired
Words, time after time, day after day.

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