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Old 09-06-2018, 12:59 PM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 4,175

Hi Ann,
let me join in the praise--really effective. Here is a thought about clarifying the speech: since N is switching between internal monologue and speaking aloud, don't italicize her speech, but set it off with a dash. I have in mind something like:

Staying on Top

Today we are skipping like bugs on custard
but still the phone hangs heavy in my hand.
They came, your great-grandchildren, all of a sudden,
yesterday, not when you told me they were coming.

Oh, they were lovely. I could have gobbled them up!
I ran to meet you over the shiny surface;
here was a happiness I could hold for you:
--Tell me about them, love. What are their names?

Too sharp a question, piercing the thin skin,
opened a hole into the cold coagulation
that lies in wait under the bright moments.
A quick step backward, flicking a wet foot,

--it doesn’t matter, love, they’ll come back later.
(Let’s see if I can help you to remember)
--first of all, darling, are they boys or girls?
A silence. I don’t know. But they were lovely.

Oh, I can feel the whole thick of it shifting;
keep it light, keep it light. We hop on our little legs,
their feathery ends tapping out empty messages
one-two-three-four on top of the shuddering custard.
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