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March 15, 2023

Stacking the Deck

Nancy Huggett

We begin the year as we begin each day. Appeasing my daughter’s addiction to goddesses. We pull cards. I insist on random, she on choice. What would you call that, choosing the one you want? I say pig-headedness. She says empowerment. Thus, our mythic battle. What can I know, privileged by parenthood? She is fair but full of womanhood, an extra chromosome, a fractured brain. Loss the bedrock of her blooming. I concede. Learned when she was little to be curious instead of certain. She deftly weeds through the pack: flipping cards one by one, sorting them into piles. Keepers, ignorers. Maybes? The thrill of each reveal sparks a tiny flame in her firing brain. Until she has before her what she needs: Rhea for Flow, Sedna for Abundance, and Mary (always) for Miracles. Who am I to tell her how this world works when wonder is what she builds around her, massaging goddesses into place to hold her steady as she ascends?


NANCY HUGGETT is a settler descendant who writes, lives, and caregives on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people (Ottawa, Canada). Her work won the 2022 American Literary Review’s CNF award and was shortlisted for TNQ’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay contest and Cutthroat’s Barry Lopez creative nonfiction prize. Her work has been published in anti-heroin chic, Citron Review, Flo., The Forge, Intima, Literary Mama, One Art, Prairie Fire, and Rust & Moth. | Twitter: @nancyhuggett | Instagram: nanhug | Facebook:

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