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TV After Dinner

“What’s on tonight?” No one would have asked.
It was on, and we drifted in its field
Like particles.

i. Mother

She only wanted something else
Beyond rooms, a house and worry:
Too tired now to even think of what, exactly;
Was the light and sound even a diversion?
And maybe rest wasn’t a fiction.
Maybe she just needed more of it.

ii. Sister

She wasn’t allowed more
Time on the computer. It would have to do
Even with no clacking keyboard to voice out her wish
For a diary with really invisible ink
Or an iPod with headphones she’d buy separately.
No one really looked anyway,
And no one listened, why should she?

iii. Father

He was home early.
He’d flicked the remote and turned it on;
Then he wouldn’t have to listen to more noise.

For a while, he saw them there, every one all at once.
For a while, he wondered why it felt strange:
Too much work? School? What, really, could explain it?

A while passed, the same way it had for years.

Looking On

No one said anything, while we watched.
(Was there anything to say?)
Things could be not-strange if we didn’t watch us;

When I did, they left
For the kitchen and two locked doors.

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