246. Returning Home

Passing through the door,
Back in their house,
Patty set the baby on the rug.
She peeled off her gloves,
Her eyes still bright.

Bud, not far behind:
“Patty! Did you leave that door
Unlocked? I told you once, you
Better lock that thing! Not
Everyone’s got radios,
These days. Those
Tenant wives, they wander
Down the street–”
“Oh, yes. Yes, of course.
Next time, surely”–
Patty was distracted.

“Dear, what did you think?” she
Asked Bud, as he tossed his hat.
“Of the churching,” she persisted.
“Oh”–Bud settled in his chair,
Pulled off his shoes–
“It’s a shame, I’ll
Tell you, frankly, when
A room of Christian people
Got to spend an hour
Just to beat the butt
Of some damned
Worthless fancy-woman
With fake face.
I got no hour to waste! You
See the ammo, when she
Dropped that war-chest down?
You ladies, and your paint!”

Folding up her gloves,
She hardly heard him.
“I mean–
What’d you think of me?
Of what I said.”
“Oh, fine.” He’d
Bought a Sunday paper
At the store, and shook it out.

“Honest?” Patty asked, delighted:
“Well, you see, I wasn’t sure
If it’s my place,
You know, to speak up.
As I started, though–it
Started to feel good!”

She smoothed a glove, its
Fingers with her fingers.
“What-all I said, why,
It just felt so right. And
We can always tell by that,
Now, can’t we? You start
Sewing the seam straight, and then
You feel it. Sort of
Comfortable, and strong.
God lets us know”–
She tripped across the baby.
“Honey, sorry!
Ma will get you now.
Anyhow, Bud, I’m
Relieved that you agree, and–”
She kept talking, pleased
That he would hear.

So Macklehouse, that four-eyed
Sissy-britches, all the while
He’s on my back,
And hounding me,
He’s getting his,
Hot on the side.
Well, I’ll be damned!
Mister High-and-Mighty,
Big car ain’t enough?
No, buy the women, too.
Well, he can do it….

Matt ran through the room,
Demanding something.

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