Iowa Writes

from Family Bible

Neva Whitman from the Methodist church and her mother-in-law bring a pan of Mexican cornbread to my grandma's house while I'm visiting. "Oh, honey," she says, eyes glistening with memory. "You look so much like your daddy. I'll never forget how he made the rounds totin' that bottle of Wild Turkey every Christmas morning." She shakes her head slowly.

"Thank you," I reply, wishing I had a slug about then. "I'll take that as a compliment."

"And I sure meant it as one. Your daddy was a pretty man. A pretty man inside and out."

Old Mrs. Whitman blows her nose and nudges her. "Well, Neva, she's pretty, too. Ain't she pretty? Got those pretty little feet. Just you look."

The three of us stare at my feet. My grandmother puts on her glasses so she can stare too and hobbles over with her walker. My feet don't look bad, thanks to the saleslady in the pharmacy. She helped me select a bottle of nail polish with as much enthusiasm and concern as if I had been picking out my wedding gown.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Melissa Delbridge is an archivist in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University. Delbridge lives with her family in Orange County, North Carolina, where she spends her leisure time letting the dogs in and out, making pickles, plotting vengeance, substantiating rumors, and working on a novel. Family Bible was published by the University of Iowa Press this spring.

Family Bible Site

University of Iowa Press

This page was first displayed
on May 11, 2008

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