Saturday, September 26, 2015

Recycled Prisoners: A series of poems by Liz Kingsbury McKeown - #1 Roseanna

This is dedicated to the protagonist, Robin Sullivan O'Connor and those like her.

November, 1982 - Roseanna

I did everything I could to stop them, snuff them out of my life, so much at stake.
Last night was perfect: dinner at my husband's colleague's house, a renovated Edwardian brownstone.
Keith and the other guys from the firm had their fingers on the pulse of the regional financial world of the early eighties.

Kim, the stay-at-home wife and I talked shopping, where in middle Michigan to buy clothes that weren't polyester without driving to Grosse Point or Ann Arbor. I am a local D.J. and morning talk show host, but make no mention of it to her. Don't rub it in. I know she appreciates my sensitivity in a time when caring about feelings is for hippies with soybean consciousness.

At home, in the brass bed with the Egyptian cotton sheets, life seemed so inviting. Perfect. I had been holding them in for a month. Then, I fall asleep and all hell breaks loose.

Deceptively, everything feels nice, like going to an ice cream social. People like me meet there from all over, primarily the Southern United States and Australia. We dance, we cook, we serve the honored ones with delight. Then, the time comes and we go through a fog. My stomach sinks. What does this remind me of? The cool, damp air feels sinister; something is afoot, but I just can't see it. Could somebody turn on a light?

All of a sudden, I'm horribly hungry and feel grimy, unwashed. It's dark, eerily cool and still. I feel afraid, but I still don't know what of. I'm standing outside in formation with acres of men, lean, unwashed men who reminded me of wild animals. We were all standing and waiting for something. I hear a man shout something and I get pushed to the front.

I wake up in a cold sweat, but still smell the smells and see the same people all standing in our bedroom with the oh so carefully selected antique furniture. I wake up with a start, nearly knocking Keith off the bed. My lower back is burning as if I've been beaten.  I'm shaking. The images slowly fade and so does my marriage.

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