eviewing the significance of milk, dear Mother has a couple of
words. The engine is still running. I have sat on the hood and
spread a checkered picnic blanket beneath, while the light pricks its
The mincemeat pie, the soda. Dear Mother she has leaned over,
making a list, listening, which she does frequently. I appreciate
this but I've a criticism of Mother and of her notions of milk. She
leans over with a pen to receive my critique and compels me to look into her, such is the white of the slim grey eye from which she speaks:
When the moon was a cumbersome sliver, and I in Rome, there
was one Pope more religious than the other. He would never
Mother, I can't hear you, speak up, because the engine is loud;
like all older cars, its carburetor needs to be fixed!
When the moon was a delicate sliver on a patch of black felt,
and I in Rome, there existed one Pope more sanctimonious than
the other. He would never touch milk...
Mother, so hot today the mincemeat pie will melt on this hood. Lean
speak faster, I must get to school soon for Kafka Lessons!
When the moon was a delicate silver moon on the tanned wooden
night, and I in Rome, there walked one Pope more revered than
another. I lay asleep, sound in my conviction he had never
There's nobody else around, the silence is deafening, the tulips are
empty, and light is going away. Speak up, speak up. No, speak up!
No, help! Not the Pope, not ever the Pope, but save her! Save her. She is drowning.
* * * * *
Ronald Donn lives in West Monroe, Louisiana. He works at Louisiana Technical
University, where he teaches technical writing. Previous publications
include Jones Ave., Wisconsin Review, Octavo, and CrossXconnect.