Circle of Women: An Anthology of Contemporary Western Women by Kim Barnes, Mary Clearman Blew

By Kim Barnes, Mary Clearman Blew

A impressive array of news, essays, and poems reflecting women's reports of the yank West. Combining illustrious writers with interesting yet lesser identified nearby authors, this quantity is right away courageous, delicate, and complex--representing the West in a fashion readers haven't obvious prior to.

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Her hair had been recently brushed, and she wore plastic barrettes, a duck on one side, a bow on the other. When I remember those years at home, this is one of the things I focus on, how nothing ever matched, not sheets, not barrettes, not cups and saucers, not socks. And sometimes I think the sad and petty effort to have matching things has been one of the chief concerns of my adult life. Aunt Opal perched uneasily on a ladder-back chair with the baby, Laura Jean, on her lap. Laura Jean, eyes roving, held her own bottle of milk, and when she saw me, her look latched on to me and she stopped sucking and squirmed and kicked.

Daddy kept a coil of rope, a hacksaw and a rifle in the back behind the seat. She had no intention, no intention at all, but she swung down Willow Glen Road, past Jay Tyler's house. She honked her horn at imaginary children in the street, stomped on her brakes and laid rubber to avoid a cat that wasn't there; but all that noise didn't lure anyone out of the Tyler house, and no lights popped on upstairs or down. In the green light of dusk, the house looked gray and cool, a huge lifeless thing waiting to crumble.

All this talk, all this talk," she said. "How about some lemonade? " Everything about her was pale: her cheeks, flushed from the heat; the sweep of yellow hair, wound in a bun but not too tight; a few blond tendrils swirling at the nape of her neck, damp with her own sweat; the white dress with tiny pink roses, cut low in front so that when she leaned forward and said, "Why don't you help me, Willy," he saw the curve of her breasts. In the kitchen she brushed his hair from his eyes, touched his hand, almost as if she didn't mean to do it, but he knew.

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