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Speaking in Sulphur

February 1, 2008

Frances reopens her book and lives
take up where she left them
on both sides of the valley in her lap.
The life of the book is them under her,
under the pages, and whatever they say
about themselves they say in her voice,
and will wear what she sees for them.
What she says for herself is the voice
she never met, and last month people
she never knew in Oklahoma
said she had her grandmother’s voice.
As strange for her to be speaking in Sulphur,
as for them to hear that ghost voice
after fifty years. Lives behind her
have been reading through her life
and ours, not just in Oklahoma, but here
through an acre of air and invisible thousands
of recollections and swallow-building gnats.
These things must be rewritten and reread.
It is so hard to know who we are saying.

by Allan Peterson

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  1. February 2, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Oh, I really really like this.

  2. Kate Peterson
    February 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I am transported.

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