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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 21 page 08

verse

Scavenging in the Parents' Bedroom

by D. Marie Fitzgerald

When they weren’t home I snuck in,
it was always twilight in that room,
the soft sun peering through venetian blinds,
dust motes levitating,
afternoon silence,
brother playing in the back yard.

The white oak furniture,
bed and nightstands,
vanity table with
the huge oval mirror joined on each side by
two drawers, one on top of the other —
mom’s stored jewelry in the right hand drawer.

I pulled out strings of pearls,
draped them all over my naked eight year old body,
posed seductively in the mirror’s reflection.

Then I ventured into the dark of the closet
where on the top of a built in dresser
Dad kept various items:
pills I thought may be mints,
a comb, a shoe horn, a brush
to use on his suits,
a dish of loose change
I helped myself to.

In my explorations I played the spy,
invaded their privacy,
crept around in their world,
it was, after all, the grownup place
where decisions were made,
the twilight sanctuary
now violated.