restricted access Pride
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53 Pride At eighty, he’s laid by in an armchair. Fat like a can of peaches, and just as brown around the pits of the eyes. He dangles his argyled heels above the cold floor. Cold now that she’s filched the rug, dragged its dust-heavy braids over wood slats and onto the kitchen’s gouged slab. She wants to walk over it, the looping braids thirded from torn sheets, from thin cotton shirtsleeves and the single blue dress. That dress she remembers: the humid afternoon when he raised the slaughtering knife against her. How the skirt swung wide as she ducked the blade’s pinwheel flight, how steel lodged itself in the swollen lath of the family room wall, then shuddered. She likes to grind her toes in the coffee spots that, but for a few inches, might have been blood. Likes to let him see her, brown toes in the weave, as she chops carrots with a dull whack. ...

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