No Word for Enchantment

by Tina Barry

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My aunt no longer recalls the word pond

smelling of frilled fern

She would not recognize a reflection


Her own in water

Opal face

                fanned lashes on rouged cheek

a glamorous sea creature

                              in violet perfume


At the pond, I skipped a stone

            that pinged against a frog's face,

She can no longer recall its slow eyes,

Gone is the word

                        for enchantment


She who walked a city block in seconds

Cashmere-covered elbows a blur of purpose

Waits for the scratchy, long-distance voice of a mother

Gone 50 years



                                    her husband, whose mouth she's kissed 10 million times--

                                         a burgler, the postman, and, last Saturday

                                                 Simone Signoret


Told stories of a Parisian childhood:

            amber ablaze in a dollhouse bedroom

            poodles' nails clicking pavement

            pale garters hoisting seamed stockings

bad shrimp in Provence




Why      haven't        you       bought       me         a          small          black              dog?