taylor graham



born to be a widow  - a grandmother's tale

My mother was not the prettiest girl
in the Badger family. She married
Mr. Petty. A woman does what she has to.
I wed a newspaper man, a Heilman. But
you can’t count on men. They die. I told
my daughter, fatherless at five, she’d
best learn to type, take shorthand –
skills that pay. She was headstrong,
wanted to be a nurse, married a doctor.
He died. A woman’s born to be a widow.
Find another husband and move on.

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. She also helps her husband (a retired wildlife biologist) with his field projects. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere, and she's included in the anthology, California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her latest book, The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas Review Press, 2006), is winner of the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize.



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