Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Wind Chill Factor

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Wind Chill Factor

Article excerpt

When my grandmother had hers removed,

she complained of the cold.

We wandered down the windy beach in the evening.

You don't think of that beforehand.

She crossed her arms over the flat plains

of her chest as she spoke.

Our walks were always after the sun had gone down.

Post radiation, the bright light of day was forbidden.

Her cool, dark bedroom was forever fringed

with the hats she would take off and toss.

Within the mahogany dresser drawers

I glimpsed the bulky white contraptions

she strapped on each morning

after shooing us out and closing the door.

Even her daughters were left outside.

My aunt had to forfeit only one.

Do you want to see?

she asked, six months after the surgery.

She pulled open her soft, pink nightgown,

revealing herself.

She and I both looked, curiously.

I shrugged, was nonchalant,

but privately thought

that I could have done the job just as well myself

blindfolded with a dull hatchet.

My aunt buttoned up her flannel.

I'm too small to need a prosthesis. …

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