A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

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"How about a little pig, sweetie?" by Bonnie Proudfoot

"How about a little pig, sweetie?"

my father’s father asked my mother’s mother,

knowing, as we all did, that she kept kosher, refused

to eat pork, shrimp, or drink milk with meat, still, after

marrying our dad, our mother let a few modern ways

take her over, though some things she and her mom

agreed upon like avoiding pork, and everything must be

scratch-made, both mistrusted commercial mixes,

precooked, or store-made, that just wasn’t food,

ever, and it would not be fit for serving, ever. Sugar

and butter creamed, yolks beaten, egg whites whipped,

the Hamilton-Beach mixer the only concession, and

no concessions for kids in that big unkosher city,

no steaming pushcarts with hotdogs, anything out there

could potentially crack the thin shell. We were scratch

made too, my brother and I, so we hid every cheat, tried

to keep it all perfect, and when our mother's hands began

to curl, her body began to shrivel, we didn’t talk about it,

no one could see those little cracks, everything still shining,

and there was Grandma from across the street,

coming over in a housedress, then down on all fours,

scrubbing and waxing the kitchen floor because what else

have you got to show the world who you are,

like keeping kosher, but even more ferocious.

Bonnie Proudfoot

Bonnie Proudfoot lives in Athens, Ohio. She has published fiction, essays, reviews, and poetry in a variety of journals and anthologies. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her debut novel, Goshen Road, (Swallow Press) was the 2022 WCONA Book of the Year and long-listed for the 2021 PEN/Hemingway Award. Her first chapbook of poems, Household Gods, (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions) was released in September 2022. Bonnie currently teaches part time for the Department of English at WVU.



Bonnie Proudfoot