10.

Sitting on my bed
on a Saturday night
I take the wire in both hands,
untwist the hanger’s hook,
then straighten it.

It seems so pokey.

My parents’ laughter
bursts through the front door.
From my bed, I hear
Mom rifle through records
while Dad mixes drinks.

I think about this hanger
this agent of death
and I know that I can’t.

In the living room,
they’re spinning discs
and dancing again.
Mom sings along with Tom Jones.
Oh whoa whoa, she’s a lady!

Their laughter rounds the corner
to my room where slowly,
I bend the straightened hanger
back into a hook.

Waiting for my scheduled date,
I cross my arms over my stomach,
grab onto my sides,
and curl up in my bed
like a shrimp.

—bw

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15 thoughts on “10.

  1. The desire to get rid of it, make all of it disappear is so strong here, and yet so human. I’m glad for the release of Tom Jones, music, and laughter. Glad for those ordinary things that pull us away from the edge, and relieved for the curled shrimp. One more night she’s gotten through,

    Elizabeth

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a great-aunt who aborted her baby with a coat hanger because her husband didn’t want any more children. She got a terrible infection and almost died. This was back in the 1920s…and of course, she was never able to get pregnant again. I’m sure he was thrilled. Your words are so moving.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Day Eleven
  4. Wow! On my second reading, the powerful ambiguity of “waiting for my scheduled date” hit me–the immediate appointment or the one nine months hence.

    Like

  5. Your selected lyric “she’s a lady” is so poignant. So much happening in the separation – and connection – between the living room and bedroom. Gorgeous imagery.

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  6. Its such a beautifully written poem. 2 rooms in the same house, 2 people in the same family going through different emotions and how just the sound of laughter and warmth prevents something horrible from happening. Wow!

    Like

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