I saw our daughter in the grocery store again.
This time, she’d discarded the old shoes,
her hooves are coming through.
She was using her talons to tear through meat packets.
Oh, honey, I frowned.
Your mum is a vegan.
Our daughter followed me to the produce aisle, and she chewed
one carrot, sadly, to try to make me happy. It didn’t take.
She could barely tame the wild things of her teeth.
We sat and talked in the trunk of my car for about
fifteen minutes afterwards. I offered to pay for her shopping.
Mother, don’t bother. I’m covered. I’ve got it
sorted, between the furnace and the fire and
the pit of my stomach does all my flame charring anyway. I’m
set, for days.
She said, “Tell Mum don’t worry. I’ve got a nice place. No boys.
I’m finishing up my degree and I don’t dream of having fathers;
not anymore. You raised me well, you can’t even tell
where the roots of my hair
used to be.”
She said, “I’m sorry I didn’t want the same life as you both did.”
I guess that’s what most mothers want to hear.
Honey, oh honey,
we did good.
Lilith sends us love and photographs of her last kill.
We made a mantelpiece of her baby antlers. We know
how to breathe now, how not to be
ungrateful. We love her; we just
don’t want the same things she did.
From Everyone Knows That I Am a Haunting. Reproduced with kind permission of Peepal Tree Press