Dogs 2007

FOREIGN LANGUAGE
(3/29/07)


they were
my sister's friends
and after introductions
were suffered through
and promptly forgotten
they began their usual
conversational flow

I understood
the words
really
I did
but I had no idea
what they were
saying

they talked of things
that never appeared
on my daily
operational display

children
schools
social get-togethers
major home renovations
housekeepers and
lawn care employees

I nodded
and smiled
as if
I had
a fucking
clue

my sister
watched me
remembering
no doubt
my past outbursts
during less controlled periods
of personal dialectical
difficulty

she would
make eye contact
now and again
raising her brows
panning her pupils skyward
hunching her shoulders
as if to say

"what can be said?"

when they
began to whisper
about acquaintances
gone bad
due to
affairs
drugs
alcohol
I finally heard
a familiar word

at last
I understood them
and while I had
much to add
I remained silent
so as not
to provide
another topic
for their next
meeting

my sister's
dysfunctional sibling
would remain
her secret
for another
day