WILLA Review Logo
The Women in Literature and Life Assembly
of
The National Council of Teachers of English
Editor:  Patricia Kelly kellyp@vt.edu
Volume 7
Fall 1998


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FAR TOO LONG

Marianne Peel Forman, Mac Donald Middle School, East Langinsing, MI

She was gone too long,
my daughter.
Wrapped in Calvin Kleins
that showed how flat her stomach really was,
I watched her eat
all the fettucine,
even slurping the noodles
and nodding approval at me,
letting me know I could cook this supper again.
Not like the time she
negated the rosemary
chicken
throwing out the jar of rosemary
right in the middle of
dinner
her guarantee that I
would not cook that poultry again.
But she was gone too long,
my daughter,
and I knew that meal
she savored
was being purged
from her seemingly
satisfied gut.
That she had
once again decided to expel the
calories,
the nutrition—
acid them up
through a throat that must
by now be scarred
and bruised.

Later I would find the vomit
on places she wouldn't suspect—
under the rim of the toilet
seat
where she forgot
to wipe off the evidence.

And I watch her grow thin,
collar bones catching
necklaces
in absurd angles,
eyes that sink deeper into
her face,
too tired to even accuse
anymore.

Until I no longer
recognize this child,
my daughter,
who has been gone
far too long.

Reference Citation: Forman, M. P.. (1998). "Far Too Long," WILLA, Vol. VII, p. 35


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