You were conceived on a hunting stand, they say.
Which means: We had no other place.
The homestead is full of my mother’s siblings. On the stove, a pot of potato chow big enough to feed twenty. See my mother, back roughed against the wooden platform in the trees. See my father, finger on the trigger—in case.
You have to gut a moose right away, they say, or the meat rots in its skin.
Which means: We couldn’t keep our hands off each other.
The night of my making, my father shot a moose through the eye, through the skull and brain and bone, through to the other side. My mother found the red-tipped bullet in the summered dirt. They keep it on the mantle next to a sepia photo—them steering the rack of the dead bull.
They say, you came into the world with a bang.
Which means: Do something to deserve us.