I’ve been told I’m trash.
I’ve been told I was ruined.
I’ve been told I can find redemption by the book or the lash or some combination through religion or pop culture or social evolution.
I’ve been told to get over it, to toughen up, to let go, to open up.
I don’t want to get over it or adjust to it or be open to it or any other euphemisms for taking it.
I don’t want to be a good wife or a strong wife. An understanding wife.
I don’t want to be your baby. I don’t want to re-enact my powerlessness or yours when we were children.
I don’t want you to cage me so you can free me.
I don’t want to have a safe word.
I want, though. I want everything else.
I want you to love my flesh, all my flesh, and my hair, all my hair and my toes and my tears and my soul’s words and the ringing in my ears. All of me.
I want you.
I want to taste your skin salt and touch your mind’s sky and hear the echo of the chambers of your heart.
I want the long low train whistle in the distance coming on and the lightning strike and the thunderstorm in the saguaros and the open road and the fireweed growing back and the spring rain and the deep and wild forest. Sometimes all at once, but not necessarily.
I want the dirt and the mud and the moss.
I want to watch you plant a tree.
I want to hold your dirty earth hands and kiss your muddy face.
I want to watch you paint the house and change the light bulbs and feed the cats.
I want you to take out the trash.
I want you to hold me as it all composts around us.
Click here for KBOO station information and information on the show!
The Listen to Your Mother Show in the Oregonian. If you scroll down, you can find my reading video.
I’ve recently been published in an anthology about motherhood – having one, being one, not being one, etc…
Mine is about the day my mom and I got honest with each other about our lives.
The book is really lovely and Putnam published it and in the mail, when I received the contributor’s copy. The package included a letter and at the bottom of that letter was a penguin. A PENGUIN! You know – Penguin, as in publishing and New York City. Putnam established in 1838. Wahoo!
There’s still an opportunity to enter the cash prize writing contest through this subscription drive for Hip Mama!
Thank you to Carrie Seitzinger, Matty Byloos, and everyone at Nailed Magazine for publishing American Charity! I hope you enjoy the story.
I wrote about peaches and venison and about my brother joining the army. Read it here.
Here it is! The anthology you’ve all been waiting for about, for, by, because of mothers – the good ones, the bad ones, and every one in between. I wrote a story about the time my mom and I had a real meeting of souls about sexual autonomy, birth control, and long-held secrets. You can buy it on pre-sale now.