Heirlooms

When Great-Grandma Ann died
My mother inherited her blue hutch
Decorated with hand painted Swedish folk art flowers
Grandma Ann’s son was my mother’s father

That grandfather was the man standing in the doorway
Of the long dark room of my nightmares
My mother, her sister Judy, and my sister Kim and I
Shared Ann as our middle names

I always thought it was a talisman
My mom, Aunt Judy, my little sister Kim and I
Also shared symptoms of women
Whose lives were splintered by sexual abuse

Years later my mother painted the hutch
A fresh blue, covering up the flowers
I dreamt I watched my father masturbate
Until a Swedish folk art flower came out of him

 

 

Khadija Anderson

About Khadija Anderson

Khadija Anderson returned in 2008 to her birthplace Los Angeles after 18 years exile in Seattle. Khadija's poetry has been published in print and online and her poem "Islam for Americans" was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize. Khadija's first book of poetry History of Butoh was published through Writ Large Press in 2012. She can be found online at: http://www.khadijaanderson.com
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