Thursday, December 6, 2007

Inadvertent Abandonment


Inadvertent Abandonment

I spent a winter with an aunt

Walking home from the evening train
on autumn nights in heavy rain,
the north-east wind combing my hair,
cold and wet in the icy air,
humiliated when all my
school friends are picked up, therefore shy,
I smile, and babble, “I’m only
here tonight because it’s healthy
to walk in the rain on cold fall
nights.” Right. It’s because auntie’s all
drunk, passed out, snoring loudly, sprawled
on the floor.” Would they be appalled?
I don’t have friends over to stay.
I can imagine what they’d say.

I have a friend whose stepmom too
orders her booze delivered to
her house by taxi once a week.
When I was over there last week
the two of us found it and sneaked
into her closet where it stood
covered with a rain coat and hood,
I very carefully poured it out
while she kept up a good lookout.
The next day she came home with me,
while mine snored off her latest spree,
we poured the bottles down the drain,
gurgle, glug, glug. She didn’t deign
to ask, looked utterly confused,
speculative. I was bemused,
giggling inside for many days.
What happened to their stowaways?

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