Stress Fractures by Adele Evershed

I never eat raspberries—their softness and bloody color remind me too much of the clots that slipped from me after your birth. The midwife told me to call her if they were bigger than a fifty pence piece. 

I thought I was in control of our shape. After all, I had made you from the clay of me, dipping you in glaze and staying with my moon jar baby all night. But as you grew, the handle I had fashioned struggled to hold the weight. I could feel myself breaking every time you came home late or didn't answer my texts, so I shadowed myself with ferns and tied you up even more tightly with steel wool. Then, of course, you kicked against my rules, saying I was the worst mother in the world. And I'd answer, "You'll never find another." 

And then you turned eighteen. Secretly you trimmed and turned yourself into something new—even cutting out the surplus to change your shape. You left it behind on the bedroom floor with a note that told me not to look for you. 

You have been missing for a year now, and on your birthday, I take out my clay. I scrape away the surface and get glimpses of what lays beneath all the blood and bones and blow pot colors. I work the clay and gather it into a hand coil sphere. I dip it in white, so it looks like a fresh start. But, as I take down the kiln bricks, the moon jar is in pieces, and I know the one I made so long ago can never be replicated. So I fill my empty space with raspberries and splinter into a bloody mess. 

Published in Issue #23

No comments:

Post a Comment