Inheritance


An image of the interior of a closet, mostly in muted colors.

A dress at the back of my mother’s closet

calls my name. Mod and mini, bold


in colour, high-necked and cinched

at the waist, she’s begging me to


dance with her, like mum did at ten years

younger than I am now. She recalls a hand


at the small of her back, the sound

of my mother’s laugh, whirling


twirling twisting to Fleetwood Mac.

Mum smiles at the sight of us:


the dress’ design, she says, only

fit for a figure like mine, her


own having slipped from her grasp

as all youth does in time. She


treats the mirror like the sun,

centre of the universe and


impossible to look at for long,

though the weight she carries exists


almost entirely in her head.

Mother’s mother self-deprecates


while she eats a slice of cake on her

ninety-second birthday, as if the miracle


of her supple body is not the very thing

we are celebrating. Never mind the


children her hips bore, and the child her

child’s hips gave, who is wearing a dress


that remembers only a soft caress,

laughter and the feeling of my mother,


spinning, once free from that ugly

inheritance.


An image of Glennys Egan, a person smiling into the camera with their head tilted slightly to the side.

Raised in the Canadian prairies, Glennys Egan writes poetry in Ottawa, Canada, where she works for the government like everyone else. Her work has been published in Taco Bell Quarterly, The Daily Drunk, Nymphs and other lovely places. You can find her and her dog, Boris, online at @gleegz.