I Am the Woman – Rachael Ikins

Rachael Ikins – That woman, a daughter to the end

Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

I’m the child you locked in.
Every afternoon and every Saturday morning. The child you said was fat, whose food you took away, who served you dessert but wasn’t allowed to lick the spoon.
I was that too-blonde, too-good, girl who was too afraid to touch Down There. Using allowance on 10 candy bars at a time, I’m the girl who got high.
Eating them one after another in a dim room, a sunny after-school afternoon, chocolate high. I never learned to vomit.
I am the woman who held you when you were dying. The woman who straddled the recliner where you lay,
your face yellow as mustard in your dying,
as you leaked blood from skin too thin to contain it,
I am the woman who said, “No! You will not take my mother out of this house.” You would’ve died screaming in agony in an ambulance, and for…

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