A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cordless Phone

Remember the everyday of the 90s: not just what was on TV, but what surrounded the TV. The recipes clipped from the newspaper, the box of cereal on the breakfast table, the glasses full of ice water from the new fridge. That clear, ice-water quality of late-summer afternoon light. I guess that's not the 90s, that's my girlhood, that's a series of flattering shirts and mornings when I still felt safe at home. Walking around and around on the deck, barefoot, with the cordless phone. You could go so far and no farther. You had to keep checking that you hadn't gone beyond the signal. The book I'm reading calls it securely attached. If I sat under the pear tree the sound began to break up but I could still understand you. Inside the pink playhouse my father had painted blue swallows all over the walls, or I think it was supposed to be tracing the flight of one blue swallow, in one window and out the other. Inside the pink playhouse something really bad had almost happened, but that was the 80s and I came out again, safe into the 90s. Was that when I was the most normal? In the 90s I never went into the playhouse. In the summer twilight I sat under the pear tree and inhaled its aroma and the aroma of Victoria's Secret Juicy Pear lotion all over my elbows. Under the pear tree an opossum hissed at me so I went inside. The kitchen glowed yellow through the glass doors. I turned on the TV and there was always something on.

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