Only a mother could manufacture such a story:
the earth opened and pulled her down.
She shows my picture all over town
and worries the details of my molestation.
Terrified she screamed for mother. . .
but I did not scream.
She says it is like having an arm ripped
from her body. But think, Mother,
what it is to be an arm ripped from a body.
Bloody shoulder bulb, fingers twitching, useless.
Did she expect me to starve?
To wither away, mourning the tulip, primrose, crocus?
And if I have changed, so be it.
He did not choose me for my slim ankles or silken tresses.
She moans and tears her hair Unfair!
There was so much I longed to teach her.
Sad Mother, who thinks she knows so much–
teach the farmer to grow seed.
The fields await instruction.
From Eating in the Underworld. Copyright © 2003 Rachel Zucker.