Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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A Scene Not Made

A week from thirty-four, your wits and ends
get tied like flies. Wynona’s casting lines,
hoping to reel in something she can save.
She tries to catch her mother at this age,
already hitched and stitched and wanting more
than what her roles required. Wynona tries,
but draws, instead, a memory like a boot.

                        The front porch. Summer. Mrs. Stone in slacks,
                        church shoes, some crabshack shirt. She’s breaking in
                        the shoes. Or pacing. Thin-skinned, overbrowned,
                        with sunken features like an apple doll.
                        She waits for Mr. Stone. Or anyone.
                        Her brow says, “Well.” Her feet though, hammer home
                        the surer counterpoint. No sign of him.

                        Wynona stays inside but looking out
                        the window; in another century
                        the room would be a drawing room. The Stones
                        don’t have a name for it, all shades of green,
                        the carpets, moldings, drapes. Just hideous.
                        Wynona drives a stagecoach up and down
                        the walls. Her right arm swings and skirts the sill,
                        defying gravity. Patience, for her,
                        is just a vehicle born on by whim.
                        This is before she knows the difference
                        between a noun and verb, but knows enough
                        to figure something isn’t happening.

                        There’s music in her mother’s brooding pace,
                        and in Wynona too, the motor’s hum,
                        dissembling their silence like a slip
                        that zips to hide a cushion’s ugly pattern.
                        Still, girl-world’s safer; she can turn around:
                        to drive is hope, and hope, a push like driving.
                        From floor to wall and back, she drives to coax
                        the meaning from the motion, saying—yes,
                        and almost singing—surface, surface, surface.  

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