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A novel in verse … and the writing thereof
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In the Glow

Perhaps it was the way he drifted

               through the house

     my boy who usually moved so quickly,

pausing before pictures

     ornaments

               even wallpaper, his fingers

riding the little bumps of flocked

roses on the living room wallpaper.

My father took him to the study, “to

     ask his intentions,” he said to me

with a wink, though when I knocked

     their heads were bent over one of

     Dad’s law books.

“Just checking a minor point about water rights,”

     he explained. “Wanted to determine if it’s the same here

     as in Montana.”

Banned from the kitchen, we watched my mother

     pass to and fro, and when she pushed once more

     through the swinging door, he stared at the rapidly diminishing

     curved triangle of floor that swung

in and out of sight as the door slapped

back and forth.

“What is it?” I asked.

“We’ve got

     the same linoleum.

               At my house.”

I touched his hand. His face

looked simplified, sanctified.

     Then my mother, slender still, dark hair

     framing her quick face, pushed

through the door again and stopped,

     looking from one to the other of us.

“He has the same linoleum,” I said.

     “At home. In Montana.”

At once, her face gentled, all

     its sharp planes softened; she

     set down the mashed potatoes and the beans, and

     lifted up her arms.

He hugged her at first

a little awkwardly, but

when she said,

“Oh, Cory. Welcome home,”

he hugged her hard, and when he

lifted his face, it was wet.

“Thank you, Mrs. Thurston.”

“Miranda,” she said. “You call me Miranda.”

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