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Thomas Hardy was as right as rain

Susan L. Helwig
From:   Catch the Sweet. Toronto: Seraphim Editions, 2001.


I've been on this street before. It was Yuri. Late. Rushing. A half hour late. Maybe even lost. He was No. 70, Apt. 1008, I think. When I got there, it never happened. First, it was being late and apologizing and calming down and then there was the lack of protection (how could we both be simultaneously unprepared?) and then the phone call about his brother, so when he hung up, we talked and cried and I left. After the funeral, we tried and tried (sort of), but it wasn't to be. Yuri acted like he'd put $100 in the bank and it was his, he was going to have it, and me, well, I'd thought too long about that pair of shoes, modelled them in the store mirror once too often, now they were wrong (funny, his metaphor is banking and mine is merchandise). Now I am back on this street and almost there, I just have to cross and then the bagpipes start (somebody was talking about haggis at lunch today) and it is a Vietnam vets parade and Yuri is in the lead, he is in a wheelchair, he waves, and instead of clowns, there are girls wrapped up tight in dolphin suits with no arms and legs and they try to throw candy to the crowd, but without arms and legs, they can't, and anyway (they tell me), it's meant for the vets' brothers and then I am wound tight in my duvet with no arms and no legs. I can only speak.



Susan L. Helwig's works copyright © to the author.


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