Distance, as if looking through reversed lens,
made some sense of the summer of ’57. Fromm’s
“The Art of Loving” soared. Fiction, for the first time,
was not awarded a Pulitzer Prize. She was thirty,
ripe on the vine, in contradiction to his forty-five.
Glowing with élan vital, full of herself, fresh
from night-school, she was groomed to beguile
with exotic grace, taught to apply her face with skill,
walk tall in black silk, wear glamorous hats
with wide brims and flirtatious tilts.
A builder, he would arrive home, dead-beat,
shake the concrete from his hair, pour a drink,
and retreat into silence until supper, nurse
his glass like a lover, succumb to sleep, leaving
her to chain smoke her hopes into charged air.
Friday nights the valve would lift, laughter leak,
as between drinks, he would reach for his fiddle
and furiously bow “Wabash Cannonball,” or
“Turkey in the Straw,” oblivious to her on-edge
rawness as she played hostess to their friends.
He descended further into drink, she bruised, grew
soft. Peaches rotted, unpicked, on the tree. We read
“From Russia with Love”; Russia banned “Dr. Zhivago.”
Not much made sense, except the song, “Bye, Bye, Love’
and Dr. Suess introducing “The Grinch.”
Point Roberts, Washington
Mentress Moon, Dragonfly Review, and accepted for publication
in Dragonfly Review's upcoming Winter Solstice edition
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