Shattered Wig #28

Shattered Wig #28
Coming In November!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On The Matter of the Pinched Baby

- for Susana

I'm no longer so sure
who pinched the baby.
It wasn't a locked door mystery
Agatha Christie kind of situation
or anything, just the presence of
newborns creates a swirl of manic
energy and rising anxiety and an
edgy bliss and at some point there
were a bunch of the family in the
living room and then not so much
and then the dinner table was getting
set and something good came on the
radio and then the baby was crying
and its upper arm and right cheek
were red and puffy.

But everyone turned out fine
until it hit the point that some
were not doing so fine and a few
started falling apart and one or two
died, but most of it seemed according
to what felt like a proper schedule.

And for years I always spoke
with great fondness of my
father's French Onion Soup and
everyone always agreed and pitched
in "Yeah and the Chinese Pepper Steak!"
Then one day someone said "He never
made French Onion Soup, he made
'blank' soup and everyone agreed and
I can't even remember what soup they
were now saying he made because it
just seemed wrong and I
know I never ate it.

Strangely, what I do know
for certain, what I saw
with my child eyes and made
sure to confirm with my father
months before he died because
a friend suggested I had dreamt it
was that long ago my father
and dads of the Y Indian Guides
-suburban men all-
dressed in full drag including
wigs one night while camping
to disturb the cranky park ranger.

This memory sustains me.


  1. Great piece, chief - love the last line.

  2. Many thanks! It was inspired by a Saturday morning talk with Susana in Normal's. I need to hang upside down bat-like in a corner of their house for a while with a pad and pencil.