Whatever it is she is wanting, it is not
too much to ask. We would give it to her
if we could, now we are grown women in a car
outside the small yellow house where she is forever
fifteen, forever leaning her elbows on the front
windowsill, pretending not to watch
for whatever it is she’s wanting.

Diane Gilliam, GirlThe living room curtains are closed
behind her. Behind her, her mother and sister
are fighting. Your sister waged a war in that house, is how her mother
will tell the story years later. Your dad was her ally, and I
was her enemy. And you were nothing
, the mother
will say. And I was nothing,
the girl will say.

She knows better than to ask
for whatever it is she is wanting. We would give her
another story if we could, now we are grown women in a car
on our way to somewhere else. She was nothing, so her story, I’m trying
to explain, comes disguised as no story at all. And if still I can’t say
what it is I am wanting, look closely at the windowpane,
it’s what I brought you here to see–how it holds us
in that house apart from what we want,
how the glass makes it look
like there is nothing
to stop us
at all.

by Diane Gilliam

Author: A Room of Her Own

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