Fall 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 4 Fiction |

What She Knew

At the touch of wind from an opened window, at the smell of onions welling up from her good iron fry pan in summer, for no reason really, when the yards grew silent and the kitchen held still, she knew where she stood, on what ancestral ground of duntes and their sacred admonitions. It didn't happen very often or last very long, but there was a moment, and it was odd, appearing as it escaped, unlivable beyond a second in June, when they stood immense atop a hill with knotted hair and dresses blowing, and she knew. Her youngest, her seven-year-old (her five-pound bag of sugar, she called her) who always stayed close in the kitchen on Sundays, lay humming under the table, with her nose stuck in the pages of the Sears Roebuck catalog. Her girl was free to do as she pleased, but she never seemed to want to do a single blessed thing on her own, stray too far off into sunlight, into the yard, or across the street into her own choices. When she saw her there, Rambler After, she sang th

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