Rebirthing Mother       [1] • 234567891011
Christie Logan

Veiled Woman #1

My mother was a veiled woman
Hiding her mind, her
all her possibilities

When did this happen?

In college, a Gamma Phi
Hey Daddy,
I wanna be a Gamma Phi
I will until I die
Hey Daddy...

A degree in Journalism
She liked to write
what did she write?
what did she want to write?

Did she want to be
Brenda Starr

beauty sparkling
as she followed leads,
discovered stories
exposed corruption
as it ruled the world?
“She never saw the inside of a newsroom”
my Dad, my uncle said

How can you be so sure?
She was a veiled woman
she could have been
lots of places
you couldn’t see her in

My mother became
a veiled woman
hiding her Aphrodite,
her Venus self

only after her first,
disastrous marriage

My aunt Marian, her sister,
tells me
June was “busy ... she was popular ...”

Marian, four years younger,
remembers boys in uniform coming to the house
to see her,
to pick her up for dates.

She graduated Central High
in 1943,
during the war.

In college
“well, she was a Gamma Phi ...
that was very important
back then ...”

Was she still busy ...
Still popular?

calling to herself
the passion of a violent man

the danger of flirting with him
eye to eye
as he approaches

the thrill
of being open
to his advances

head back
shoulders lax
a sly smile
as he moves in
panther to prey.

She shudders
but she keeps her pose.

And then the outcome
the punishing aftermath

Patriarchy’s curriculum
she breathes it in the air
studies it
in the disapproving glance
of her father,
who has no words
for this,

who will not speak to her of this.

Takes it in
with the sting
of her own mother’s

“how could you??
Oh, June .....”

A civil wedding, two witnesses
A brief mention in the paper

“Mr. and Mrs. ... ”

Imagine what she might have written!
The first child comes
they live in married student housing
in war barracks fresh from the front.

She takes time off
from her studies
but she graduates, finally,
in 1948.

At least they let her graduate

The second child comes
the following year

He’s still in school
another year.

Between the second and the third child,
he graduates.

they move away --
an investment opportunity;
her father’s sudden death
“a stroke of luck”
he puns,

he makes her
take her claim.

The third child
and the money gone,
they come back,

this time move in with
her widowed mother

rent free

into the basement apartment
of the house her father built,

the house that she grew up in,
the house that she left,

the house her father died in

It’s 1952.

[1] • 234567891011

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