Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Light Bulbs and Soap

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Light Bulbs and Soap

Article excerpt

September: sunny afternoon.

Stroll with my sister once again.

Drained by two hours of angry sleep,

limp, drowsy, I less stroll than droop.

Watch out, though. Something fin-like slides

up from the river as if to slice

our futures. Yours is granite; mine

is thorns and mist. It cuts through both.

Are we bleeding? Neither one

would deign to blot the other's wound.

Fishing for any common theme

of talk-they're few and far between-

we come up with the legacy

our mother left to you and me.

Light bulbs and soap was her advice

to you: bring these to anyplace

you move to. Mine is little more:

she taught me what white lies are.

Precepts still valid, sturdy, sound,

but pretty meager on the ground.

In a nest of teachers, writers,

what has happened to the talkers?

Light bulbs and soap: a terse still life

rendered in tight-lipped black and white.

Light bulbs in a fruitbowl; lies

like white lilac in a vase

with maybe a single stoic bar

of soap; a tablecloth; no more. …

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