From Water Strider, published by Frontenac House in 2008. Karen Hofmann lives in Kamloops.
Patsy’s daughter Sarah met a woman
who had an alter ego named Edna. On Tuesdays this woman would dress in Edna’s clothes, clean the house.
On Monday night the woman would
tell her kids to pick up their toys;
Edna did not care about their toys, she said.
Edna would just throw them away.
The woman’s husband wanted to fire Edna
to save money, but the woman insisted
she be kept on. She didn’t tell her family
the truth about Edna until the kids were all
grown up and gone from home.
If I had an alter ego, she’d be called Nikki
and she’d wear sleek jeans and midriff-baring tops
and ride on the backs of motorcycles
driven by 27-year-old guys. She’d drink
in bars along the East Trans-Canada
in mid-afternoon. On Mondays,
she’d tell her kids to leave their clothes
on the floor. She’d come home Tuesdays,
kick off her high-heeled boots, shake out
her smoky hair. Tell her husband,
“Tie me up.”