withered blue ink
scrawled in grandma’s Bible
between columns, margins
what does it say?
Mom shrugs (her sisters won’t know either)
we weren’t allowed to learn,
she retells,
how grandpap bruised her
for speaking i love you
in her mother’s tongue

I trace strange apostrophes, wondering
what the syllables taste like

Autumn Riley

Listen to Autumn reading ‘misInheritance’ (0:32).


Autumn Riley enjoys writing prose and poetry as a hobby, and hopes to do more. She lives on the seacoast of New England and works as a music teacher and performer, specializing in violin, viola, and cello.

© text and audio 2020