Skip to main content

Lilly Going Down the Big Road

ISSUE:  Winter 1992
I spoke to her all the days she was inside me. I’m
Lilly, I’d say. I’m Momma. And all the days through
the rain and the heat when she’d roll and say, Please
Momma—like she wasn’t sure she wanted to go
where it was all going to take her.

Even then I knew she was a girl. I could hear
little girl talk and giggles—when she
knew everyone was asleep and I’d be listening. Momma
she’d say. And then silly things—want to talk all night.

  In here you can see right through the dark, Momma.
  You can hear what everyone’s thinking—
  In here you can see what and who they are.

Even now when she runs in a circle, she’ll stop with
something in her hand, put her hand on my belly and say,
Momma. Member?—like I should know what everything is,
fragment of conversation, every piece of road—as if
there’s a place and a word
for everything we’ve ever said or done.

  Member Momma. Member?

But I don’t remember what it was like in all
the darkness and water, where you could see without
eyes, where people can’t hide in back of their

faces, when you were just the idea of something—
or even before the idea, when you could look in any
direction and see the point at the end of the road.

  Member Momma. Member?

But I don’t remember. All I can do is kiss the thing in her
hand, put her hand on my belly and smile
back into a face that looks almost exactly like mine.
I say, It’s a big road, Little Nose, Little Eyes.

  All right, she says. All right.


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Recommended Reading