Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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CAKI WILKINSON

Wynona’s Hiatus

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She spent it mad. She spent it trying hard
to get a handle. She had several
approaches. Handle-getting was an art.
She made a model Weatherman in clay,
then reproduced the town. She wrote two acts
of a five-act play. She tooled around in large
and unbecoming hats, studied her face
and practiced looking stoic. Grateful. Wise.
She wobbled through her days and wasn’t sure
what sort of handle she was reaching for.
She’d been a kid with brilliant stickers, saved,
unstuck, in want of one deserving surface
that never surfaced, a girl with stomachaches
developing, despite the no-you’re-fines,
the it’s-all-in-your-heads, a real hard knot
of worry, normal as another organ.
She’d been a shrunken woman dressed to kill
on a rooftop deck, then puking overboard
before she lifted up her too-big dress
to please a not-man, boy as boy can be.
She’d been a noun rehearsing prepositions:
against a cliff, above a line; in planes,
on buses—always waiting for the stop
where some new plot or you was waiting, sure
to wave her in from the percussive hum
of her own head. But these past-perfect I’s
had been, she came to understand, a ruse,
a way to grip the present where she spent
her long hiatus, looking back, and saw
she was all of them, still. Is all of them.  


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