• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 01


I am told he has an interest in me
as a future wife, though we have not met.
He will arrive today, taste the meal
I am preparing, seek an arrangement.

Mother weeps quietly by the fire
hides behind her apron.
Father strides the room in that puffed up
fashion of a deal-making opportunity.

I grind spices and herbs to coax grisly meat,
an attempt to convey pleasure
on the tongue. I keep silent thoughts
and blend into the wall.

My sister tells me he is rather old
this man who wants to wed me,
a man with ambition and wealth,
and I wonder what I have to offer.

I shall miss the simple life, this house,
Tabby Girl dancing round my feet.
Will I have to dance for this man?
He comes, my sister says. My heart stalls.