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Party

by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

In the middle of the party
I went straight to sleep.

When I awoke,
Smoke hung in the air,

Scrim after scrim.
In the living room,

Two women sat, brides
Wearing their gowns.

One sipped at her drink;
A flower had fallen from her bouquet

And sat on an ice cube
Which slowly dissolved. Another,

Before pregnant as a fig,
Was rocking a crib.

“Twins,” she said, turning down
The corner of her mouth,

Not looking up.
A tiny child ran around the room

Hitting the walls like a moth.
In the corner, the lawyer

Sat on a high stool,
Scribbling a writ.

“One divorce and two wills,”
He said, clearing things up.

In the kitchen,
I could hear water running over a dish.

“What did I miss?” I asked, confused,
Shaking my head,

Trying to get everything straight.
The girl with the twins looked up,

A cigarette stub in each eye,
Hairs on her chin.

“Not much,” she said,
Bending to scratch her leg.

It was beginning to itch.

 

Susan Frombreg Schaeffer’s second novel, Anya, was published last year to cirtical acclaim. (Spring 1975)


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