I Am My Mother's Daughter
by Ursula Burke
This work attempts to explore the worlds of my mother and my daughter, and my relationship to the both of them.
Born marginal of a family of five boys, Josie was the only girl. Christy went into Woolworth's on the second day of their honeymoon and bought her first doll. She was twenty seven. He was thirty. Christy was a mechanic. Josie a boot maker. She stood ten years in that factory, sewing boots. Because of it she got varicose veins. At the age of twenty eight she gave birth to her first born, a girl. Linda. By the age of thirty she had started to go grey. Josie had four more kids in the coming years, Stephen, Anne, Ursula and Christine. They were never lucky. They were always poor. Because of the lack of money and the worry of it Josie had a nervous breakdown. She was never the same again. Tea and fags were her only solace. She would sit in the living room smoking and drinking while the gas cog in the kitchen would remain on but unlit, wondering of years to come, the grandchildren to be had, would she be around? Hunched forward on the couch staring as the constant tremor in her hand shook. She would fart when she coughed. Six years later Josie took a heart attack. The doctors discovered diabetes. She would sneak Madeira cake in the kitchen while Christy watched the Dirty Dozen in the living room.