The Ticket for Wives by Meg Eden

Untitled by Tyler Rayburn
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The Ticket for Wives
at the Annual Woodworking Show

The ticket my father hands me reads: $2 OFF ADMISSION FOR SPOUSE.

The woman at the counter asks: Is this your wife?

My life needs no police investigations. I am not a mail order bride, not a Mormon daughter-wife. My father is thrifty, and forgets my birth date. I am seventeen, and have never been kissed.

But the woman does not ask for my testimony. She stamps our hands and lets us enter the woodworking show. We are in the middle of a fair ground, and I realize, people do not ask questions, here.

The only women in the show are old, married to men with shirts that read: He Who Has the Most Tools Wins. These men do not look at me, or talk to me. They ask my father what he likes to make, and he pats my back, says, My daughter is the real craftsman here. They always look surprised when I sit at the scroll saw and cut out plywood hearts—small and easy to break—I make them in one cut, to display how quickly I can turn, how thin and smooth the outside edge is.

It is then that I am made known.

Meg Eden

Meg Eden’s work has been published in various magazines, including
B O D Y, Drunken Boat, Eleven Eleven, and Rock & Sling. Her work received second place in the 2014 Ian MacMillan Fiction contest. Her collections include “Your Son” (The Florence Kahn Memorial Award), “Rotary Phones and Facebook” (Dancing Girl Press) and “The Girl Who Came Back” (Red Bird Chapbooks). She teaches at the University of Maryland. Check out her work at: