Inscrutable Sonnets

5

Regarding chronology— She’s come to think of it as one
of the crew backstage: been there forever, still resourceful.
Formerly a stickler for procedure, now chill about how she wants
to shuffle through all the old props in the closet and set them out
again, this time in a different order— the kind of narrative
she wants being no longer only about what happened, where,
and when. There’s the girl in the navy blue skirt who tried to run
away from home when she was nine, with only a toothbrush
in a paper sack. There’s the ex- who flew into a rage and left
the car and everyone in it in the middle of traffic. There’s
the grandmother who put her body between him and his eldest
daughter to prevent a possibly lethal blow. The years have softened
the hard outlines of these figures. Their mouths still open as if
to sing their individual arias. Sometimes now they sing together.

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