local_library Plastic Pearls

by Linda McCauley Freeman

Published in Issue No. 22 ~ March, 1999

Red high heels, plastic pearls,
a weekend’s worth of Beauty

and the Beast, Lion King, Snow
White, and my niece is turning

hoarse, rocking, rocking
her body against the back

seat of my car. Her crying
now coming out my ears.

I look in the rearview mirror
but she’s too small. I see

almost my mother’s face and rub
the lined brow, my fingers

cold, white, gripping
the back seat of my uncle’s car,

noise as we pull away, my
aunt’s voice like the ocean

loud in my ears, my uncle’s head
suspended above the seat, my

mother shrinking
through the window.

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Linda McCauley Freeman (formerly Linda Mytych) was poet-in-residence for the Putnam Arts Council for two years and has been featured poet at many art centers, bookstores and cafes. She has an MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College and is the communications director for a worldwide firm. Her work has appeared in Girls: An Anthology by Global City Press, and other publications. She is married to the novelist, Chester Freeman. Linda tells us she wrote this poem " after reading Jon Berryman's Dreamsongs My idea here was to put Henry in the 1990's."