Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Her Mother's Quiet Houses

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Her Mother's Quiet Houses

Article excerpt

Beyond glass, displayed, the wary girl

and her three brothers spoke cautiously outdoors:

Their mother, rinsing clean dishes,

watched from various kitchen windows,

looked into fire escapes and narrow alleys

or, later, into boxlike backyards

of her husband's sequential houses.

When they spoke, she could see her children's words

as clearly as if they had signed them to her.

In their own defense they grew devious:

Their hands learned to sculpt

their own slippery codes; they began to talk

with their backs to all their houses. Or

they said perpendicular things for her benefit,

repeating her own words back

to her windows, enunciating: She said

not to leave the yard. But when they turned,

they articulated their escapes.

Even when they got older and realized

she very rarely watched them

(and then only to test herself: Can I

still translate silence, after all these years alone?

She didn't care much who spoke, or what was said)

even then they still coded; their hands moved

as if naturally; they shimmered as they talked. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.