The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban
substitute

You Were Wearing

You were wearing your Edgar Allan Poe printed cotton blouse.
In each divided up square of the blouse was a picture of Edgar Allan Poe.
Your hair was blonde and you were cute. You asked me,
 "Do most boys think that most girls are bad?"
I smelled the mould of your seaside resort hotel bedroom on your hair
 held in place by a John Greenleaf Whittier clip.
"No," I said, "it's girls who think that boys are bad."
 Then we read Snowbound together
And ran around in an attic, so that a little of the blue enamel was
 scraped off my George Washington, Father of His Country, shoes.

Mother was walking in the living room, her Strauss Waltzes comb in
 her hair.
We waited for a time and then joined her, only to be served tea in cups
 painted with pictures of Herman Melville
As well as with illustrations from his book Moby Dick and from his
 novella, Benito Cereno.
Father came in wearing his Dick Tracy necktie: "How about a
 drink, everyone?"
I said, "Let's go outside a while." Then we went onto the porch and
 sat on the Abraham Lincoln swing.
You sat on the eyes, mouth, and beard part, and I sat on the knees.
In the yard across the street we saw a snowman holding a garbage can lid
 smashed into a likeness of the mad English king, George the Third. 


— Kenneth Koch
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