She let the tape go— on record one evening for an ordinary hour Five years later, we play it back for laughs after dinner—then as now
“Remember how the stove door screeched at the house on Olive Street?” And our voices! Phoeb’s, lighter–tired wrapping the nine’s tables in elastic yawns like flash cards in a rubber band “Phoeb, your pitch changed so— while I turned...” to run water in the tub lamenting the **** of Two in frenetic escape of hands Unruly! Running rebel taunts in Time’s strict face who would not dare disturb her dawns only mine— Roused by the first round of another day’s ring of twelve digits that insist like uniform with apron waiting on ironing board that’s never folded
Now the **** of Two cries out Exultant! of success in ***** Then, Oratorio for Soap! The splashy version with endless bubblings of “Rocky Baby!” and obbligato of “Where’s Shampoo?” in jubilant glissadal plunge an octave through vocal whoops!
…I had not thought she hardly talked but sang and squealed or whined in tunes Her voice lay open to her soul a roost of piercing humming birds small of words but filled with sweet and want incessant wings and things to say....
How could we have forgotten?
“Are these your boots? Your clothes laid out?” From sound and talk, we still can hear frost phantoms in winter window rattles—then as now And Phoebe remarks how one voice didn’t change though— “Still talking to herself”
We laugh and let the tape go....
This is one of those poems I'm so glad I wrote because no photo or recording could ever capture this memory as well.