The Most Holy Object in the House


We have no butter…but I ask you, would you rather have butter or guns? Preparedness makes us powerful. Butter merely makes us fat.

Goering, 1936


During her weeks in Concord Hospital with kidney disease and cardiac problems, my grandmother often complained that staff members were refusing to give her butter. It was her final stay in the renal ward. Soon there would be weeks at home struggling with dialysis and anaemia, and finally a risky surgery from which she would not recover. On the day she was released from hospital, she waited in her slip-on shoes and cardigan, breathing heavily as I packed her bags. Inside the nightstand drawer I found a mound of butter pats, all pristine in their dead-folded foil envelopes.

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© 2015 Mireille Juchau. Homepage image © Wendy Ewald "Girl with Mirror". Author photo © Alex Craig.