Tag Archives: dysfunctional family

She Hates Numbers

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Christmas Eve Next Door, a poem

841 oleander drive

CHRISTMAS EVE NEXT DOOR

Next door is a house painted peach,

roofed with thick white tiles, its mature

shrubbery pruned horribly precise.

 

The rumor is Eileen was the first woman

poor Larry ever slept with.  For thirty years

the two of them have kept to themselves,

 

now they understand why no one bothered

to butt in, and suddenly begin to argue.

Eileen sits alone in her room, maybe drunk,

 

maybe nuts, even she can’t tell.  She screams

once, then says nothing for days.  Late

on Christmas Eve, she emerges in her

 

quilted satin robe, only to assault the visiting

cars parked out front on her swale, pulling

antennas off, gouging paint with a screwdriver,

 

vicious, more vicious than she ever imagined

she could be.  Her high, shrill voice pierces

the hushed air.  Summoned peace officers

 

shrug their burly shoulders and offer Larry

boxes of soft, greasy pastries.  He feels almost

relieved when they finally take her

 

into custody, though he hates

to think of her in the same holding cell

with a bunch of sleazy streetwalkers.

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