Happy Thursday, everyone! Thank you for joining us for our second edition of WRB’s The Curve. We hope that you enjoyed your Fourth of July and were able to take a little bit of a break with your friends and family, and find some time for yourselves, as well. This week, we have joining us Grace Sumner, with her poem, “An Afternoon with Mary.” Thank you, Grace, for joining us, and thanks to all of you for the read.
AN AFTERNOON WITH MARY
I spoke with my friend Mary today
To say she only spoke to me would be untrue.
I asked her what she had for me
And for a time she rambled and I thought of other faces
But then her tongue told me how love is madness and
I began to weep.
The knife that darted out I thought had fallen short
But began to see how with scalpel precision
A piece had been removed and now was there on the table for all to see.
Though it was only she and I
I felt so terribly exposed.
How painful to be so suddenly known
To have the shock of recognition
Without the comfort of the hand that brushes back your hair and warms your face with
A toothy grin and something ridiculous.
My old friend saw my hot tears and recognized my fear
She waited patiently.
When my eyes were clearer I looked at what she had shown me
Tender and lovely and awkward
Misshapen flesh and memories
And all I could see for a hundred miles was you.
We finished our tea and stood to go
I picked up the piece I’d left behind
Unsure how to put it back
Feeling it much dearer than before.
GRACE SUMNER is an actor, writer, baker and cocktail aficionado living in Massachusetts. She also works in software operations. Writing poetry is a recent return to an old love, and this is her first publication of “An Afternoon with Mary.” She lives with her husband and pup in Somerville. Dedicated to Ms. Oliver, for cutting deep.