The Girls
by Karen Solie

copyright © 2009 Karen Solie

They stayed at home. They didn’t go far.
Trends do not move them.
From picture windows of family homes

they cast wide gazes of manifest pragmatism:
hopeful and competent, boundlessly integrated,
fearless, enviable, eternal.

Vegas, Florida, Mexico, Florida, Vegas.
With children they travel backroads
in first and last light to ball fields

and arenas of the Dominion.
We have no children. We don’t own,
but rent successively, relentlessly,

to no real end. The high-school reunion
was a disaster. Our husbands got wasted
and fought one another, then with an equanimity

we secretly despised, made up over
anthem rock, rye and water. Our
grudges are prehistoric and literal.

It seems they will survive us. The girls
share a table, each pitying the others their looks,
their men, their clothes, their lives.