Friday, August 1, 2014

Family Condition

I have an extra toenail
it runs in my family
just a tiny sliver on 
the right pinky toe

No one would ever notice
but it’s there, 
separate, defined

I get it from the mother side
and in that line it’s
mother, grandmother, aunts
my sister
passed on through 
woman to woman
our most basic
and meaningful inheritance

Unlike the witches of old
we don’t have the full deformity
only the sharpest part
the little bit that
points, needles
stabs at us until 
we do something about it

Even I forget it’s there
most of the time
until I take a 
twisted step too far
out to the left
or run into something
I should surely have avoided
and then- a pain
a small, sharp pain
running down the outside
of my foot
and suddenly-
ah, yes now
there it is
my inheritance

The family condition
and saving grace 
all wrapped up in one