"Nap Time," by Robert Wynne (TRR#6)
Even on the first day of kindergarten
I was confused about the importance of sleep.
I didn't want to put my head down
on my desk, didn't want to drift away
for 30 minutes in a room full of strangers.
Someone might steal my lunch.
I wanted to open my Thermos
and have a lidful of Tang, wanted
to eat my peanut butter & honey sandwich
while the other kids fell from their chairs
one by one and woke up.
I would lick the taste of this morning
from the corners of my mouth
as everyone else rubbed their eyes,
squinted at me: the only child
fully awake, the only one not hungry.
"Background," by Al Maginnes (TRR#5)
It's the part of the movie when
the heroine, the one we fear for,
flees down the street
in four-inch heels. In a moment
she'll bump into a couple
coming out of a restaurant,
gasp an apology and go on,
leaving them to stare after her
even as they dissolve
into the next shot. But I'm watching
behind them, looking for the woman
my brother married, who once spent
an hour telling us about this shot,
how many times she had to find
the same marks with her feet,
how many times the actress blew
the scene's single line. There she is,
shadow in a black dress,
her face just visible as she floats
down the concrete steps
and up the sidewalk, away
from the growing complications of this plot.
My brother came home to find
a moving van in the front yard.
At what point do people become
preludes to their absences?
My brother waited till the van was gone,
then, with no directions to tell him
where to put his feet, walked
into the house, an actor suddenly uncertain
of his lines, knowing there was no chance
to do this a second time.