A novel in verse … and the writing thereof
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Saturday Night

Jane, the prettiest of us all, and the shyest,

was always astonished that anyone asked her to dance.

One of us had to watch out for her;

     she’d drift off the floor on someone’s arm

     to look at the moon, and disappear for hours.

Ruby, the only nurse as tall as me, dancing with her tall soldier, Ben

     (she only liked him, we teased,

     because he was taller than she) would whisper

to him, and they’d circle near a table where she’d tap Edna’s shoulder—

     “Where’s Jane?”

     “Uh, oh. I don’t know. I’ll go. Excuse me, fellas.”

A few minutes later, Edna and Jane would reappear, trailed

     by a guy with his hands shoved in his pockets, gazing

     out over the dance floor. He’d linger a moment, then fade

               back into the crowd.

In the morning, Jane was genuinely confused.

     “He said he wanted to

     look at the moon!”

Nora did exactly the same thing, except

everything that Jane did out of innocence, Nora did

because she wanted to appear innocent. I disliked her, I think,

as much as I did anyone.

Edna and Ruby could

     look out for themselves. Sunday mornings,

     they’d laugh again

     at last night’s jokes, hum their favorite tunes,

               listen, advise, regale.

Ruby hadn’t come dancing for a long time, after her boyfriend

     was killed over France the first year of the war; she’d only just started

     going out again, and acted more

     like a mother than a girl to the guys.

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