Fiction Friday: Novelines from the Book


Now I understood why David had stayed away all those Sundays—he hadn’t wanted to participate in the farce that was visiting Patrick’s grave.

I was grieving for my mother—the mother who was a stranger to me now—not for the father who had been dead to me all these years.

One lie had sent my father to the hospital; what Mother considered the truth had sent him to his death.

We sat there, at an impasse, & in that moment of silence, we were acknowledging that this was now the way it would always be between us.

Madame Novacek had told my mother before I had even been conceived that Mother’s first-born daughter would steal her first love and become her enemy.

The steely glint in Mother’s eyes dared me to take David from her, even as they warned me what might happen if I tried.

I was not Mother’s enemy, but I was at enmity with her.

“Don’t you know how much you mean to me?” Mother asked, but I did not answer, for I did not know.

Fiction Friday: Micropoetry from the Book


For I learned of Mother’s life
by traveling backwards in time,
& with each trip,
the chasm between us grew wider,
so that she seemed so far removed from me.

Because Mother had been told her future,
her present had shaped it to fit the prediction—
the one that would put her at enmity with her daughter.

Their heaven was better than Baptist heaven,
their marriage, better than Methodist marriage,
for lovemaking did not end with earthly bodies,
but surpassed the thunder in the sky.

At the early morning hour,
Mother separated herself from her husband
by separating him from his life;
at the early evening hour,
she would civilly marry another man,
a man to whom she would be sealed celestially.

David had loved Mother for longer
than my father had known her,
honored her wishes by voicing not his own,
& cherished her as he cherished those
who came from her.