Nick Williamson

Blue enamel colander

From the doorway
I watched
my mother stand
at the kitchen sink
peeling potatoes.
My father moved up behind
and put his big, hairy arms
around her waist.
She didn't speak
just kept on peeling
the dirty skin
from the white flesh
her fingers raw
from cold water
above the blue enamel colander.
My father stood close
as if measuring the rise
and fall of his hands
on her belly
until she was done.
Two days later
my sister came
still born
in a rush of blood.
I never saw them
stand like that again.

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