The Daughter-in-Law

My mother-in-law has returned home from a mastectomy. Our family is seated at the dining
table. She does not look like a woman. Earlier my husband wetted his finger before entering into
me. His nails are trimmed and it did not hurt. In the kitchen, my sister-in-law inserts a meat
thermometer into the bird stuffed with sausage and bread to check if the interior is fully cooked.

I stare at my mother-in-law's bosom that has shrunk to the size of cranberries. My sister-in-law
sets the main course on the table and lifts the lid to unveil the steaming bird.  We have the
cutlery ready and the napkins tied around our necks, but to our dismay, the bird is burnt. My
sister-in-law admits to overbaking the turkey, so the stuffing cooks fully. And though we thank
her for the extra effort, we dine in silence, but I sneer at the turkey for it was not aware of its
appearance, unlike my mother-in-law.   



About the Author: Anum Sattar is a sophomore studying English at the College of Wooster in Ohio. Her poems have been published in the American Journal of Poetry (Margie,) Off the Coast, Deltona Howl, The Wayne Literary Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Journal (Contemporary Anglo Scandinavian Poetry) and Wilderness House Literary Review. Whenever possible, she reads out her work at Brooklyn Poets in New York City. She would like to thank her parents and her professor Daniel Bourne.