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The Pact Analysis

Author: poem of Sharon Olds Type: poem Views: 11

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We played dolls in that house where Father staggered with the

Thanksgiving knife, where Mother wept at noon into her one ounce of

cottage cheese, praying for the strength not to

kill herself. We kneeled over the

rubber bodies, gave them baths

carefully, scrubbed their little

orange hands, wrapped them up tight,

said goodnight, never spoke of the

woman like a gaping wound

weeping on the stairs, the man like a stuck

buffalo, baffled, stunned, dragging

arrows in his side. As if we had made a

pact of silence and safety, we kneeled and

dressed those tiny torsos with their elegant

belly-buttons and minuscule holes

high on the buttock to pee through and all that

darkness in their open mouths, so that I

have not been able to forgive you for giving your

daughter away, letting her go at

eight as if you took Molly Ann or

Tiny Tears and held her head

under the water in the bathinette

until no bubbles rose, or threw her

dark rosy body on the fire that

burned in that house where you and I

barely survived, sister, where we

swore to be protectors.

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