Bobbi Lurie

Her formal organization

Her formal organization superseded the boys’ noises.
Her husband gazed with his pale blue eyes out toward the trees. The smell of decay in old age, a stubborn smell, seeped through the sounds of their grandchildren as she set the table meticulously, getting ready to serve them banana pancakes. “People are cruel,” she thought, “because they imagine everyone’s pain is the same.”

She was sick of the heroic biographies of women who overcame their pain by fighting fate. “It only seems that way,” she thought of her son going blind, thinking of the short time, from birth until the age of nine …

“I’m cooking eggs for us,” she said to her husband who could barely hear. “I cracked six into a skillet and turned on the burner.” The banana pancakes were for the children but who knew if they’d even eat them? Their taste in food was limited at best and she was tired of guessing what they would eat. She thought she would receive some degree of freedom when she grew older, but there was never an end to the need to please.

The boys’ voices grew louder as they approached the kitchen. Their presence in the room made her anxious. They were her grandsons but she felt no closer to them than she did for the strangers who came once a month to cut the grass.

“Time for banana pancakes!” She shouted as loud as she could. Her shouts were followed by a paroxysmal cough.

Bobbi Lurie is the author of four poetry collections, most recently, the morphine poems, (Otoliths)(Australia) Her poems can be found in Fence, New American Writing, APR, and Vol.1 Brooklyn. Her favorite place to be published is Otoliths. The beginning chapters of her book on Marcel Duchamp can be found in Berfrois.
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