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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The heat of an august prairie afternoon makes his plastic skin melt,
loosening a vintage tie he forces a halting voice to brave the outside world.
My mother, acting equally as plastic, pours another cup of lemonade
with shaking hands whiter then freshly churned butter. I fidget beneath layers of Sunday dress and tug at pale pink ribbons that almost disappear beneath unruly blond curls, an older sister's glare from behind the visitor's shoulder stills
my very soul. With a startling fierceness the visitor speaks;
a narrow tale he etches upon our hearts, the meaning as clear as mud
to my naive heart, as his voice raises with every new truth.
My eyes fulfill the need to stare at something by etching my own stories
on the leather cover of his black book.

Time crept along until finally the young visitor took his leave,
as my mother escorted him to the crumbling front door I once again raised my eyes to stare at where the visitor had sat, his plate of cookies untouched and carefully balancing on the thick arm rest. My simple mind wondered how much of his plastic skin he had shed in my father's favorite chair, shivering in disgust I tried to push the stern face of the visitor out of my mind, but it always seemed to reappear.

I remember the cookies my mother made that day, simple circles with raisins pressed in at random, every year at our august family reunions she makes them by the dozens, but my mouth turns to desert when the thought of eating them comes to mind.
That preachers disapproving sniff roars in my ear like a waterfall,
childhood fidgeting masked my fear but now as I remember his plastic skin,
I remember too his plastic words. I remember the hypocrite who melted in my father's favorite chair that sweltering august afternoon. The afternoon before the night that, that glorious visitor drank himself into oblivion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this" the meaning as clear as mud to my naive heart..."