My second year in Tucson, the town next to my hometown flooded, made CNN, people canoeing down 52, standing on top of their cars. I showed my roommates, telling them I knew that carry-out, knew that intersection. When I met the boy I was sleeping with, he laughed when I said the word “duvet.” I said it right, I used it correctly. He thought it was funny that an Appalachian girl knew what a duvet was, maybe even had the audacity to own a duvet. He told me a story about his mother, a nurse who grew into a politician’s wife, learning about hill people being tended to by doctors on horseback. He told me like it was yesterday. Like it was my story. Like I got my meningitis vaccine from a man sitting in a saddle, savior to us all.
Barbara Costas-Biggs lives and works in Appalachian southern Ohio. Her work has been published by Glass, Mothers Always Write, Literary Mama, Ghost City Press, 8Poems, and others. She has an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte.