So I survived then, didn’t I? In those harsh winter months?
I took up stamp collecting. Thinking. Traveling. Why? In harsh winter,
months following weather of convertibles and zoology, she didn’t say,
“Why don’t you major in psychology?” No, in harsh winter months
she also never said, “Let’s go to the gym, shoot some hoops.” Her inimitable
handwriting in loops and insults, and we fought, always, in harsh winter.
Months left me floundering and flailing, desperately seeking love until
my mother began ailing, the internal cancers peaking: finally, in harsh
winter months prevailed. She bellowed and snapped, but I found
my territory and dreamed, then created a map in harsh winter months
filled with foreign stamps, chewed pencils, surrounded by tattered
books. The fiction and poetry of seasons, of icy harsh winter
months when I made bread and cakes, burnt offerings, learning to cook,
slathering poetry like butter. How else to survive harsh winter months?
I still wear the face of ordinary, make soufflés, collect my postage,
and mail myself, A. Parker, to distant countries with harsh winter months.
Alysson B. Parker is a writer by passion but a secondary school teacher, freelance editor, and journalist by financial necessity. She has published work with Driftwood Press, The Binnacle, Northern New England Review, Ophelia Street, Scars, Kota, Deep South (New Zealand), A Room of Her Own, ExPat Lit, and other miscellaneous publications. A regular contributor to EnPointe magazine, she has lived in many different countries and a variety of funky situations, but right now she and her family – plus two cats and a mutt who should be paying rent – live north of Boston.