When our women go crazy, they're scared there won't be
enough meat in the house. They keep asking
but how will we eat? Who will cook? Will there be enough?
Mother to daughter, it's always the same
questions. The sisters and aunts recognize symptoms: she thinks there's no food, same as Mommy before they sent her away to that place, and she thinks if she goes, the men will eat whatever they find right out of the saucepans. When our women are sane, they can tomatoes
and simmer big pots of soup for the freezer.
They are satisfied arranging spice tins
on cupboard shelves lined with clean paper.
They save all the leftovers under tight lids
and only throw them away when they're rotten.
Their refrigerators are always immaculate and full,
which is also the case when our women are crazy.
This is the child in a buff-colored coat with a foxtail collar.
This is the child who walks down the aisle between straight-back benches
in Amish church; gapes at great aunts and great uncles and covens of cousins in black.
This is the child whose momma knows she'll see plenty of this
and lifts her to the bare, pine box that Grossdaadi made for himself.
(He crawled in to test, then kept it locked in a spare bedroom back at the farm.)