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72 Mother and Daughter And when you came home at night, you would step out the backdoor of the Ford like the queen of England, with your pink coat and your navy blue uniform; toss back that gratitude-laced smile to them who don’t even look twice before high-tailing it out of the area, like some ghosts are at their back; and you’d watch the fading red lights, willing them safe passage. Then your face would grow hard with fatigue like a mask, and you would chew slow the tepid meal I laid before you and hold your jaw and stare into the void of an insignificant radio drone. I saw you and wondered what made you gather your body each morning to go back, and what made you gather the courage to come home. Foolish, ungrateful child that I was, I thought that maybe you had a choice, that maybe you loved it there, loved them so that if you could you would stay with them. Some nights I wanted to give you a break from the insipid yellow light of this hovel and just send you back into the Ford, back to that smile of something that looked like longing. 73 Sometimes, I was scared, while cooking, that you wouldn’t come home, would just stay there, become one with them, love them, free from the squalid monotony of our home. I want to tell you this; that somehow me with a son like a stone tied to me, doing what I have to do to make ends meet, I understand now that desire to run away, run away. But pride stops me, or just a feeling that maybe you would look at me with too much hurt; you would call me the ungrateful heifer you always knew me to be, and brush me off. ...


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MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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