195. Permission

She had a letter:
He could see that much.
This letter, she kept
Waving in her hand,
Or rather, wringing it,
Gripped so tightly
That it crackled like a leaf.

“….held in Amarillo.”
Babbling on, a mile a minute,
Bud observed, wordless,
“….and that’s not far.
Jeanette will take the baby–
Velma said she’ll take
The kids–the children–
And Arlene–”
Here she was interrupted;
Matthew ran up–one of his
Insistent questions, but she
Held him at arm’s length
While he pressed in,
Pushing, puffing….”That’s
Enough, Matt!” Bud commanded.
“Not today. No picture-shows.
Stay home, once.” Bud gave his
Newspaper a shake.

“Mrs. Roosevelt will be there.”
Celebrity, even
Much-despised, would
Arouse Bud’s grudging interest,
Patty knew: the President! No one
To be sneezed at.
Sighing, Bud put down his page.
“She gives the main address.
Plenary session”: grand term
Patty had gleaned from
Her crushed brochure.
Bud said: “I bet.”

I bet?–now, what did that
Mean? He would not
Consider it?
He thought she lied?
Well, if that was the case….
But no, she must not
Give up–she must
Rush right on–
“The GFWC–”
The girls tugged
At her leg. Patty bent
And tied a lace,
A braid, a sash–
She hardly knew–
Her carefully and barely tinted
Lips pulled, though she willed
Against it, sharply down.
So disappointed.

Bud glanced at her.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every
Time she broached the subject,
That damn club,
A color came into her face
Not there for years.
The kids were loud this morning,
Scrapping. He took
A swipe at one.
“Oh, go on and go,” he said,
“Who cares.”

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