Academic journal article Hecate

Betty Parker

Academic journal article Hecate

Betty Parker

Article excerpt

She was, my Father said, a Bible Basher. Her kind never gave up. I wished he hadn't said that because I believed in God and miracles. Jesus had made a cripple walk, while my father was an undistinguished man. I was too little to tell him to hush his rowdy tongue in a provided house. I eavesdropped a lot, and wondered why Betty made my father wild. Perhaps, she taught him drinking was a curse. I came to this conclusion. Whether inside or out, he always hid his amber glass. I thought of Betty, whale-boned and pale, who ambled up the street and took her time to pigeon-toe her shoes on a narrow Richter bus. I could hear the kids snorting, making a meal out of 'slow', her titanic thighs settling size already in the margins of their minds. Betty Parker went five days to a little factory northeast of town. Filing manicured hands through her seed pearls, she quoted Ecclesiastes to busy factory workers. But she never understood the empty seats on Sunday mornings, ignored their time at winning seasons at the footy, everyone under heaven at the picnic with sausages and buns. Then by Monday teatime she was at our kitchen window crying failure at the job, and getting back her dusted sponge. My Gran and Mum gripped with the fits, made me ask, Why? What did Betty do? And it wasn't just the onions bringing tears to their eyes. …

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