Sport 17: Spring 1996
Emma Neale — You're Telling Me
Those boring, corny stories
they're the ones'll make you weep.
Now when your folks do their reruns,
the Olds' slow same-olds,
their yeah, you've told mes,
you scrape your chair back from the table
that little bit too quickly,
do a cover-up by clearing plates
(you just can't stand that wet look on their faces)
be excused, go to your room,
make your cassette deck dial climb up past that notch
your dad marked off in indelible pen,
rebel in decibels, against—what?
The same-old, whatever they've got.
But you'll cotton on.
Find memory's hereditary,
with its cataleptic seizures
in the middle of the nowhere of your life—
times when you turn to whoever's there to say
did I tell you that one about the night
when my dad just made like a beeline,
jumped dozens of fences for her
to poach hundreds of daffodils
yellow as yolks done in butter,
or how once, in front of everyone,
he sprinted up the down escalator
just to be with her a few minutes sooner?
Or, you'll say, as whoever's gaze it is slips away
the one about how I never did tell him