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Forgive This and That, Whatever
by Carol Kapaun Ratchenski

There is a certain kind of forgiveness between mothers and daughters that fathers cannot understand. A certain kind of blue glass shard. A bitter nettle tea. Honey withheld. The sour turn of a morning glance. Over a chipped cup. Dark roast. Four sisters one room. Two sisters one bed. Some dreamy grasping, a push into the closet door at midnight. The hidden whiskey. A shared secret. Luke warm water, copper healing, burnt throats and an old story told only between them. A boat, a shotgun. Unquiet houses of the mid-century middle classes. Radios turned to baseball and winter weather warnings. Language of regret, sarcastic and muttered over the din of a moaning refrigerator a whistling teakettle, a crying baby, a swearing father, a sighing mother. The latter the loudest. All this and still I want to be exactly like her, as beautiful, as fragile, as soft and round and powerful.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 1.

Carol Kapaun RatchenskiCarol Kapaun Ratchenski is a therapist and the owner and director of Center for Compassion and Creativity, a private counseling practice in Fargo. Carol has also been writing and publishing short stories, essays and poems for over 30 years. She is the author of the novel Mamababy, published in 2014 by Knuckledown Press and the poetry collection, A Beautiful Hell published in 2016 by New Rivers Press.

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