Miss Borden’s Account of ThingsTiffany Midge
Only the wallpaper—yellow cabbage roses trimmed with larkspur—can say. I was of course indisposed during the awful business, eating pears in the carriage house. That’s how it went over, twelve stern men, incomprehensible! A proper lady of distinction born into a family of textiles and cotton—to think it! Looking over the damage I thought, how curious, such winsome blossoms— the blood—dappled athwart Abby’s eiderdown quilt. She’d scream if she saw it. Fourteen blows to Father in the sitting room, A spectacle, his head lolling about on the fainting couch like a crushed melon. In the séance Miss Odiah relieved my burdens, my misgivings licked clean as a cat. But I knew the ghosts were talking, voices whining like distant violins. A dissolve of mist compromising my agency, telling me what to do. To have tipped back Father’s bourbon, ten thimblefuls, a right antidote to such rancor harbored in my throat, might have done the trick. But instead, I took the tea—cheap and plain— because the Pekoe had been misplaced. And I burned the dress, an indication of guilt they said, and took a bath. Instead, I should have bought a hat, something with a sash of bright red ribbon. In the evenings now, on our stately porch I languish, I wait. While overhead the geese drag the clouds like bridal lace, unworn and ruined— bedraggled debris, such fatal flowers.
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