If Mother, Huntress

Jaclyn Watterson



1

My attention came to rest again. I don’t want to scare you, but many portions of form and order have been upset by The Mother. This is not a first attempt, but a recurrent return to a glass story with the story left out.

The Mother, in Connecticut, has been a Lady. She is not a New England Original, having grown up in Queens, but she lives with a precious beaker in a suburb near New Haven now. The Master’s Wife, The Mother was designed for boys. Tongue so caustic — she liked boy children and her husband, not her daughters and not women singing on the radio, not even Stevie Nicks. Women, she did not want their company.

A covered bone, The Mother wore a faded gown that was actually a sweat suit. And she didn’t touch us. Her wrists and waist were insulated behind mauve elastic, and outside I tried to understand this essay.

The Master mutilated.

In 1990, The Mother had two or twelve children, all of them human or once human. She punished us, but I do not remember any crying. We were like locked glass: examined things, imposters, or insomnia. The Mother was our keeper.

Dirtiness never beat a relation, even a poor relation. But sometimes a deed — she cannot stitch — slashed across kin. Ambush lay in a cradle.

I had the fear of falling over, and one of my favorite sisters was a hare. She had one bare, bald paw, and the rest of her was covered in a luxurious fur. This sister created an aura quite apart from The Mother — huntress why?

My Hare Sister and I, we shared a bed in secrecy. We stole our Mother’s

ILLUSTRATIONS. They were some unfinished, prepared cloth — vulgar things that Mother made with glue-not-stitches and we stole for our ghost stories. Like a sink without a drain.

Some mother loves her child mistakenly.

2

Hare Sister said every animal was once an animal. It’s all control, and if ghosts can be unknown in this world, why try to fathom a request like The Mother’s.

Or fathom We without Hare Sister. She is my double, and the double of any object is that I desire it. Do not mince matter. Does mourning lie?

What surprised the sadder ghost stories was that the bedsteads were roped. The real — 

what is real?

Our brother, finding himself alive, went home. So much for the person. You hope to fell dogs and cut flowers, but our brother was a whisp of hair.

Chairs drift, and tables can be in two places at once. The country was rugged, full of weeds without forethought. Frequent exposure in that century left children among a monster,

The Mother. We were tenants like potatoes.

But now she doesn’t exist. We hung her up by her hair — long, stitched — from a small willow. We used a griddle or a girdle for effect. Does that spell “Connecticut”?

The Mother cannot step beyond invisible now. She is just one stray copy of a lost house and a year like 1990. A window or a widow — broken. But non-connection is itself distinct, and we are still close relations. What do we long for when we are happy? Something else.

Winter is always summer.

Our exertions have been most successful, and here we are. Now The Mother does not resemble a thing so much. She is not stealthy or shame-faced or angry because we hung her up.

In the dining room we’ve ordered and displayed her wigs: an odd relic of that time, another drainless sink.

Nothing porcelain contains I am sorry.

But, Listen! Let me speak! Take refuge: Yes, there exists an uncertain hole. The fear of falling over it kept me Not-me, and lonely, for a long time. I was like a kidnapped apparition.

3

Anonymous Authorities say an assassin has been preserved, though The Mother seems quite dead. Hedged by paper, here.

At once I am arrived, with Hare Sister. Two rare animals privately owned. Pay no rent to soothe me, I am performing aslant, in the dark — paleness over. Every year spells “Connecticut.”

All that is and all that is. Here we must separate.

Jaclyn Watterson lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her work is in PANK, Fringe, The Collagist, Western Humanities Review, and some other places.

재클린 와터슨은 유타주의 솔트 레이크 시티에 거주한다. 그녀의 작품은 ‘팽크’, ‘프린지’, ‘콜라지스트’, ‘웨스턴 휴머니티 리뷰’와 그 외의 몇몇 다른 지면에서 찾아볼 수 있다.