Susan Aizenberg

Evening

Winter evening, yellow lamplight, her mother stares at the dirty plates.
Winter evening, yellow lamplight, her mother stares at the dirty plates.
Her father bends to the child’s homework, says, Any moron can see the answer.
Her father bends to the child’s homework, says, Any moron can see the answer.
Winter evening, yellow lamplight. Her mother bends to stare at the dirty plates.
See the answer, says the child’s homework. Any moron can, says her father.

We’ll sit here all night until you get this. She hears her little brother’s door shut.
We’ll sit here all night until you get this. She hears her little brother’s door shut.
Her mother does not speak, scrubs the knives and glasses.
Her mother does not speak, scrubs the knives and glasses.
She does not speak, hears her little brother’s door shut. Her mother scrubs
the knives and glasses. We’ll sit here all night until you get this.

Stupid, says her father. You could get this if you’d stop crying.
Stupid, says her father. You could get this if you’d stop crying.
‘Any moron,’ says her mother, means ‘I love you most of all.’
‘Any moron,’ says her mother, means ‘I love you most of all.’
Any moron could get this, Stupid, if you’d most of all stop crying.
Her father means I love you, her mother says.

All evening, yellow lamplight. Her mother scrubs at dirty plates.
The child bends to her homework. She hears her father.
‘We’ll sit here until you can see the answer’ means all winter, Stupid.
Her mother stares at the knives and glasses, does not speak.
Stop crying, says her little brother’s shut door. If you could get this.
Any moron. I would love you most of all, says the night.

 

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