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The Myth Makers
By Kimberley Cornwall
Genre: Poetry Level: Adult
Year: 2007 Category: UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest

Most of me was born here, in a kitchen
where grandmother danced in straw shoes
and blessed me with her spatula, ýTo appease
the Chinese gods,ý she said, ýand keep
your breasts from falling.ý As summer
thickened in the yard, we planted shamrocks
and practiced ESP. ýI swear on Jesus, gin
and the Union Jack that Winston Churchill
will come back.ý In the loose map of black
tea leaves, she saw me walking backward
in a gown before the Queen. ýYouýll be
a Windsor ý donýt ever marry
a Catholic.ý Her yellow hands
greased the lamb with oil, while holding
a lit cigarette. I could not help
but hope, the gray ash turning red
as jewels tumbled from the air.
She had no breasts or teeth, and orange peel
withered on the stove, as she blew
her vapour rings and veiled
my flesh in smoke. Now,

my fatherýs dead and seven stitches
seal my breast. In my kitchen, no man
views a new moon through the glass.
Last night my mother called.
My ex fiancee shot himself.
He was Catholic, and fond of words
like ýbansheeý and ýbetrothed.ý
I make soda bread, and mark the crust
with soil. I live

where the earth is always cold,
and float planes in a headwind
break a trail across the sky.
My neighbour claims Aurora has a song.
I havenýt heard it yet. But lucky, yes,
to be awake as night unravels
into red. Perhaps weýre made
of feather, thread and storms,
but with winter almost over
I lay my faith in simple chores.
The stove is full of coals, and summer
was a season of the wasp. I shovel out
the ash, smear citrus
on the kitchen glass, and love
the stubborn blood and dead wings
as they dissolve in morning light.

About the Author: Editor's Choice winner, UAA ADN Creative Writing Contest 2007. Poetry, Open to the Public.

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