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I was born mad, she said. Born with teeth and bit Dr Millison’s hand as he cut my cord, tasted blood before milk. Suckled hard and gave pain before I let go my tears. That was her version, anyway. But I was a baby. It was all heat and light and touch in my infant mind. I knew nothing of my own ragged birth or the earth’s agitation. Didn’t know when Furnace called to my Dad and drew him away from my mother, who took to drink not long after; or the nights of her crying, come to that. 


I knew nothing until the dead man spoke, and by then I was older.


Walking, talking, singing and crying, always with Nan, thinking the whole world was all about me, the way children do.

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