A reading

Edwina and me at the launch party for pms:poemmemoirstory

Edwina and me at the launch party for pms:poemmemoirstory

On Saturday, Edwina and I headed to Bottletree Café in Birmingham for the launch party celebrating issue 13 of pms:poemmemoirstory, a literary journal including works written by women. I read “Rough Edges,” an essay that recounts just some of the story of how Edwina and I became friends and how we view our lives leading up to that moment. It’s the first piece I’ve published that reflects my larger project: a memoir about this special, and oftentimes surprising, friendship.

The story touched on a number of events in Edwina’s life, especially, that she shared with me during a series of taped interviews. Her version of the “bad” person she used to be and the much-improved follower of God she’s become.

As I read my way through “Rough Edges,” peering out from the stage, I saw Edwina smiling and chuckling quietly to herself as I recounted some of the scenes in her own words. Her anger at her sister Wanda that caused Edwina to squeeze the freezer door shut on Wanda’s head. Her outburst at brother Joe-Joe, ending with a deep cut reaching from his wrist to his elbow.

Edwina and I talked about the reading on the way to Burger King afterwards and on the ride back to her house. She told me she loved hearing me tell her story and had a definite twinkle in her eye as she reflected on some of the early days. Before breast cancer. Before she was clean. Before we were “like sisters,” she said.

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