Nicole Connolly

Nicole Connolly


Irish-American Feminism


My aunt, from Chicago, never got used to the rolling

accelerations and decelerations of Ohio highways. A cop stops us


for trying to get through his small town as quickly

as possible. I admire that my aunt flirts with the officer,


Hartman, a name I thought about changing to make

this story more believable. She gets us out of the ticket,


but he sets his sights on me, sets his thumbs inside his belt—

loaded with danger. She tries to keep talking to him;


he invites me to watch him run a marathon, juts out

his pelvis and says, I won’t be wearing this. After


he gives up, my aunt and I screech our laughter. How dare

he! That too old man! That abuse of his uniform!


The hills lull my aunt into a dream of other futures, and as

we drive past classically red farmhouses, their alabaster


grain silos erect through the fields, she loads her smile

as if with fabric softener, says What if Hartman bought one


of those for you?, hangs her voice on a line in the wind:

What if he gave you a small one to write in?