local_library 23 Johnson Avenue, 1985

by Diann Blakely

Published in Issue No. 19 ~ December, 1998

“Women, women, the whole house stank of them,”
Plath wrote in girlhood journals; I’ve mapped a drive
Through Wellesley streets reddened by fallen leaves
To find where she’d lived with Aurelia, dreamed
Of Daddy rising from Azalea Path,
Coming back to buy her pretty dresses.
Betrayed again, she honed words into scythes
That still draw blood: grayed Hughes arrives in Boston
The next month for a lawsuit; called “Murderer”
By those protesters frothing with old rage,
He’s so handsome on TV my knees water.
“Take us away from here,” two daughters sang
In white suburban houses, dads absent,
Hoping to lure princes, sex our gaudy bait.

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Diann Blakely's first book, Hurricane Walk, was published under the name Diann Blakely Shoaf in 1992. Farewell, My Lovelies, the new manuscript from which "23 Johnson Avenue, 1985" is taken, will appear from Story Line Press in late 1999.