Wild Ribbons

This region gives the national wire cheap filler. Even
our insects are of interest on slow days. A topless
car wash. A topless doughnut shop. Segregated
high school proms. We like different music, contented
students say. The serial diaper thief still at large.
A fetish, my son is sure, but I am not so certain.
There is a problem with the roof. Whether this is
related to climate, I have no idea but most things here
are. Destruction by water, salt. Eating silver,
art, delicate fabric seems a priority. My son
is happy today. A girl with legs and serious potential
has given him her number. He has gone almost a week
without spilling butterscotch in large quantities
at the fast food stand. On the beach he reads lines
to me from the magazine that came in the mail. Happily
explaining everything. This is all surrealism. This
is good. This is bad. The introduction to a collection
of seafood recipes moves my sister to tears. I lose
their drift. The twice-convicted diaper thief released
this time for lack of evidence still on my mind.
And another story. One from home. White tulips
wrapped in pink tissue placed at the warm spring scene.
Children gone wild in perfectly pleasant weather. A
young woman, near a pond, near fallen sycamores, nearly
all her blood gone. She had been running in the park
at that hour. That hour is not specified. There is
no need. That hour is a bad hour. To be in the park.
To be at home. To be. There is no good hour. But
this is a pleasant afternoon and that kind of thinking
doesn't really sound very American. I foresee instead
a march down streets with the usual noise, signs.
Take Back the Night. As though time is the matter.
And place. Dark time. Dark streets. Whose interests
do such beliefs serve. But perhaps it is better
we march, better we continue to fail this quiz. Where
does it usually happen. a) home b) street. When
does it usually happen. a) day b) night. Delusion
is necessary for mental health, claims the article
my mother sends. I have lived this way all my life,
my still married mother writes in the margin with
exclamation points. The wife of our new vice-president
has chosen her project. Preparedness for disaster.
There are many tracks open to women today in America.
In Israel a witness testifies: It was then we found
women and children burn that easily. Somewhere
I think I read this still breathing and therefore
in all good taste still nameless young woman
was on a fast track. I hope so. I truly do hope so.
Very fast. Very bright. I can see her. Flying
home. Wild bare arms breaking bright ribbons free.

Frances Driscoll
Contents | Mudlark No. 2
Common Expression