After my father died, my mother told a story about a knife, a fork, and a spoon. Walking in the woods, they encountered a weeping woman. Enraged, the knife tried to gouge her eyes like holes. The fork’s tines punctured her arms, drawing beads of blood. But the spoon said, “I can hold your sorrow in my bowl. When you miss it, sip.” I was the kind of spoon prisoners hide in mattress springs. I tunneled out, with afterschool jobs, a Fulbright scholarship. Eventually, I married a Dubliner. I wedged an ocean between me and my mother’s stories and tears.
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