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Eleanor Lerman
Eleanor Lerman
Eleanor Lerman was raised in the Bronx and Far Rockaway, and has...
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Small Talk

by Eleanor Lerman

It is a mild day in the suburbs
Windy, a little gray. If there is
sunlight, it enters through the
kitchen window and spreads
itself, thin as a napkin, beside
the coffee cup, pie on a plate

What am I describing?
I am describing a dream
in which nobody has died

These are our mothers:
your mother and mine
It is an empty day; everyone
else is gone. Our mothers
are sitting in red chairs
that look like metal hearts
and they are smoking
Your mother is wearing
sandals and a skirt. My 
mother is thinking about 
dinner. The bread, the meat

Later, there will be
no reason to remember
this, so remember it
now: a safe day. Time
passes into dim history.

And we are their babies
sleeping in the folds of
the wind. Whatever our 
chances, these are the 
women. Such small talk
before life begins

From The Sensual Word Re-Emerges by Eleanor Lerman. Copyright 2010 by Elanor Lerman. Used by permission of Sarabande Books. All rights reserved.
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