Translated from Norwegian by Rebecca Wadlinger
I have my mother in my hands. It is she who
holds my daughter through me. And my mother
strokes my daughter across her back with my hands.
And my mother kisses my daughter’s hair with
my lips. And my mother complains to her with
my mouth. I am so poor. I have borrowed everything.
My daughter grows out of my hands and into
my elbows. Out of my elbows and up to my shoulders.
You must not grow so fast, I say. My daughter
grows out of my lap and down to the floor. The dirty
wool sweaters. The tangled hair. Up from the floor and out
the door. Then I take her hard by the arm. No, I say.
The water wheels roll in a dark mill. Grind the grain
finer and finer between us. The flour floats in
The swings creak in the wind. An evening prayer far
into sleep. Far above the fields of sleep. I dream that I
stand facing a deep hole in the ground. I’m holding a