Published on October 23rd, 2020 | by Ginny Wiehardt0
Ginny Wiehardt on KNIFE SKILLS
(After a BBC documentary on postpartum OCD)
They gleamed at her from kitchen drawers, reflecting the self she feared, more real than the woman who rocked her child, or bathed him, or smiled at him as he kicked in his bassinet. The knives sliced open a world where she might be not mother, but monster. So she dug holes in the backyard and dropped them in, night by night: first the butcher knife, then the steak knives, all seven, and finally the paring blade, which drew her close with its scalpel edge. She smoothed the earth, leaving dark mounds behind.
The baby grew, chewed his fingers, cried when hungry, turned his head at the sound of her voice. She held him and soothed him, sang lullabies she remembered from her mother. To anyone, she seemed typical. But when she stood before the kitchen window and pulled dishes from suds, she felt her tethers to those slivers withheld. She remembered how she’d tucked them into the corrosive earth. How they sang to her till the baby stopped them with his cries.