My father's family ate secrets during the Great Depression.
My grandmother, the Gypsy, worked with Margaret Sanger
and knew the dirty little secrets of half the girls in town.
Legend has it packets of meat would show up on their doorstep,
the shameful mis-steps of the daughters of the rich, blood-tinged.
"If a dog shits in your yard, you take the shit and throw it in the woodstove,"
I can remember her telling my mother. "That way it burns his asshole."
We visited her every Saturday in the Jewish old folks' home. She wore
necklaces, bracelets, and earrings of turquoise beads, to ward off the Evil Eye.
"This one, she'll suffer," she said, and spat lovingly onto the top of my head.
I hated Saturdays. "This is what you get for marrying a shiksa." My father nodded,
and handed me a paper napkin. My granny gave me a worry-stone, made of quartz,
with a groove for a troubled thumb. She knew I would need it, the witch.