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January 7, 2016 | Poetry

Family Reunion

Hannah Gamble

Family Reunion photo

A mostly drunk man walks in on a girl crying in the guest bedroom.
He says "What the fuck," but kindly.
The girl compliments the man's Hawaiian shirt,
which looks like one she has at home.
You like Hawaiian shirts? the man asks. I got loads of 'em­­
you want one?

Yes, the girl says,
thus entering into an unspoken agreement
that a black shirt with prints of golden parrots and martini glasses
is the only requisite balm.

For the rest of the evening the man tells the girl's boyfriend,
Go to the Goodwill, buy up all their shirts, but hide 'em from her;
then whenever she cries, give her one!

The boyfriend has asked the girl not to tell her family
that she's crying because of something he said.

For the rest of the evening the girl tells her family
how much she misses her dog.

image: Claudio Parentela


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