Touch: The Journal of Healing



Bid-A-Wee Beach

    by Kate Van Pelt DeLoach

Your mother prayed and prepared liver for you.

A friend tricked you into a church where

women chanted, encircled you

and stacked their hands on your head

until the weight made you dizzy.

But you approached sickness like a project,

scheduled your work in cycles

around good and bad days, depression, medication.

I listen the way a foreigner listens to a tour guide,

not asking too many questions for fear

of being misunderstood. (What’s the etiquette

surrounding such disclosure?)

You bought eyeliner and a wig,

went home and waited — later, didn’t know

your tumescent figure in a mirror. I imagine

the one who backed away as if

you were contagious, garlic strung

from a rope and hung on your porch.

That was three years ago, and now

we are sitting in your beach house, and you

are speaking like a tour guide who

knows this story by heart — who doesn’t pause

to remember or backtrack

to get the sequence straight — holding

a peach in your palm, pressing to your cheek

the arc of fuzz like a newborn’s head

and declaring you would never

do it again.

© 2015  Kate Van Pelt DeLoach

Kate Van Pelt DeLoach is from Virginia Beach, Va., and currently lives in Andersonville, Ga., with her husband, several horses, dogs and a barn cat. She is a freelance writer, editor and graphic designer; she also publishes a local newsletter, Kudzu Weekly.

Copyright © 2015

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.