The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday


Sold
By Linda Gregerson


1.
"The delicious part," he said, "is when
I get her
to strip the bed. This is after my opening
number: she's vacuumed the livingroom carpet
with whatever
she's been using till now,
and I've run the electrolux over it once and come up
with a fistful
of dirt, God's truth - we use
white linen filters and she's watched
me put
a new one in. The woman is amazed.
But the part I love is the bedroom:
she strips
the linens off the bed, suspicious, you see,
but amused, and I run the hose
with the curtain
attachment over the mattress, taking
my time. And when I'm done - are you
ready for this? -
the filterbag that was empty and white
when we began is full. Full! Eighty percent
of household dust
is skin cells, I tell her, you shed them
while you sleep. And mites. And here's
the best:
I empty it out right there on the mattress and she
is about to lose it for real. Don't do that! she says
in a horrified
voice, and I say, Why not? It was there
before. Well, you can imagine - she doesn't so much
as wait
until her husband's home from work.
She's written the check out before I can pack."

2.
He was beloved by my friend of the classical
learning,
who slummed and aspired and quoted the ancients
by pinning his heart on a beauty
so frank
and underemployed. I was the wife. The other
wife really, which may be why I so adored
the vacuum cleaner
salesman's talk. This isn't to say I was ever
ill-treated. Never, not once. Just under-
employed.
And frightened as one is then
of the world and its regard. When they decided
to live apart,
the young one had us to dinner once
on his own, but I had to search through all
my old
addressbooks just now to retrieve
his name. He had a gift for wit that worked
at no
one else's expense. I haven't
quite caught it, it being a gift I don't
myself
possess. Good will resistant to imposture.
My heart was set from then on
on the kind
he carried door to door.

--------

Between the time of month and the weather front moving in, my head has declared war on me so I will keep this short. Spent the morning and much of the afternoon at my mother's birthday party, made by three of her friends at a wonderful French restaurant in Bethesda; had the seafood risotto (scallops, lobster and shrimp) since everyone around me was getting the salmon and I knew I'd get to try some, had fabulous three-layer chocolate ganache cake with raspberry sauce, chatted with my mother's friends whom I've known mostly for 20+ years and some all my life, hung out with my sister. Everyone had lovely things to say about my mom and my sister and I read a corny poem for her. By the time I got home my head was already exploding, so I got younger son to Hebrew school, then sent husband off to take older son to the high school magnet program orientation because I couldn't stay upright. Skipped dinner, dozed, got virtual sex backrub from dementordelta.

Amused to see "A United Kingdom? Maybe", DNA evidence that the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh are actually probably mostly related, rather than mostly unrelated invading tribes driving out Celts. And delighted to see that 1) Libby got what he deserved for committing perjury and 2) the jury knew full well even as they were convicting him that he was taking the fall for Cheney and others.


At the Grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, a quote from Isaiah on a sign on the snow-covered hillside.


Have just remembered that younger son has very early orthodontist appointment. And it might snow overnight. Arrgh. *goes to collapse*
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