By Margaret Gibson
This proficient poet's memoir is the tale of an inquisitive and delicate younger woman's coming of age and a deeply relocating recounting of her reconciliation later in existence with the kin she left at the back of. Hers is the tale of a mom proud to be a woman, a Southerner, and a Christian; of 2 daughters trapped by way of their mother's energy; and in their father's breakdown below social and kinfolk expectancies. gradual to insurgent, younger Margaret ultimately flees the area of manners and custom--which she deems negative substitutes for correct idea and correct motion within the face of the Civil Rights circulate and the Vietnam War--and abandons her fundamentalist upbringing. After years of being the far away, absent daughter, she unearths herself returning domestic to fulfill the wishes of her stroke-crippled more youthful sister and her incapacitated mom and dad.
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Extra info for The Prodigal Daughter: Reclaiming an Unfinished Childhood
Quietly I turned back the covers and made my way across the hall. Mom was a mound under the covers, breathing in and out, her eyes closed. “I see you,” she said. How could she do that? See me with her eyes closed? But her voice was as warm as I knew her body would be under the covers. “Come on under,” she said. Mom had large breasts we called pillows when they were out of her bra. I liked to lie down next to her and put my head on her pillows and snuggle. ” I didn’t reply, quieted by her hand moving up and down my back gently.
I was sitting on the side of my bed nearest the wall, looking at the wall. I wanted her to comfort me, but I didn’t want her to say, This hurts me more than you. Or, This is for your own good. I don’t remember what she said, and I didn’t say anything for a long time. But then we heard Betsy scream, and Mom jumped up from the side of my bed and ran toward the kitchen. I always imagined that what happened to me in the basement happened to Betsy. Dad would treat us both the same, because he and Mom always said they treated us the same.
The bottom of the hutch was wire with square holes the size of the checks in a gingham blouse I wore. The holes were small enough that the rabbits had secure footing, large enough that their tidy, admirable pebbles of dung dropped through to the ground. From there my father would shovel the droppings onto the flower beds. Dad was happy with his hammer and saw. And I was happy thinking how much better off our two rabbits would be than those who lived on the earth, barren or grassy. I was glad that we had been able to make for them a refuge, an ark.
The Prodigal Daughter: Reclaiming an Unfinished Childhood by Margaret Gibson