Once we stayed at their house and my stepmother made chicken cooked in cinnamon spiced tomatoes. We liked the chicken, but her, not so much. She scared me. She pulled hard at my hair when she combed it, and told my dad he needed to take me shopping for clothes, because, “My god, the poor thing is dressed in rags.”
The next day my mother put a sketchpad in front of me and asked me to draw a picture of my new stepmother’s legs. I stared blankly at the paper trying to remember what they looked like. “Go on, go on!” she urged. “What do they look like?”
I didn’t want to disappoint her so I began making light pencil strokes on the paper.
“Are they really that hairy?” she said with a laugh.
Mira Martin-Parker is completing an MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University. Her work has appeared in various publications, including the Istanbul Literary Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Mythium, and Zyzzyva.