Ann Galbraith loves Barry Soyers. Please pray for Lucius Fenn who suffers greatly whilst shaking hands. Bonny Polton loves a pug named Cowl. Please pray for Olina Korsk who holds the record for missing fingers. Leon Bendrix loves Odelia Jonson who loves Kurt who loves Carlos who loves Paul. Please pray for Cortland Filby who handles a dead wasp, a conceit for his mother. Harold loves looking at Londa's hair under the microscope. Londa loves plaiting the mane of her pony. Please pray for Fancy Dancer who is troubled by the vibrissa in his nostrils. Nadine St. Clair loves Ogden Smythe who loves blowing his nose on postage stamps. Please pray for William Shakespeare who does not know how much we love him, miss him and think of him. Yukiko Pearl loves the little bits of toffee that fall to the floor when Jeffrey is done with his snack. Please pray for the florist Marieko who wraps roses in a paper cone then punches the wrong code. Muriel Frame loves retelling the incident that happened on the afternoon of November third. Please pray for our teacher Ursula Twombly who does not know the half of it. By the radiator in a wooden chair wearing woolen stockings sits a little girl in a dunce's cap, a paper cone rolled to a point and inverted on her hair; she's got her hands in her lap and her head bowed down, her chin is trembling with having been singled out like this and she is sincere in her fervent wish to die. Take it away and give it to the Tartars who roll gloriously into battle.
From Post Meridian, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000. Copyright © 2000 by Mary Ruefle. All rights reserved. Used with permission.