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Annie Comes Home to RufusAnnie Comes Home to Rufus10 years ago in Free Verse
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Annie tumbles from the car
and onto the driveway.
I watch from behind the curtains
as Mother and Father trudge behind,
dragging duffles full of god-knows-what
(sweatshirts, I figure, and a toothbrush, and gallons and jars
of bitter white pills and injections).
"Daddy – keys!" she cries,
and his mouth stretches, baring teeth
(he smiles, he thinks)
as he tosses a jingling cluster.
The latch clacks, and Annie comes home.
I hover in the kitchen –
I never know what to say.
She spots me before even hanging up her jacket and kneels.
"C'mere, mutt," like she expects me to pretend
I'm happy to see her
eight pounds lighter than last Sunday.
Annie is tired.
Only I am allowed in her room,
where the angled light shafts and the dust motes
turn the plastic hairs of her wig
into faceted filaments.
She slides it from her skull
and drapes it on the sleeping styrofoam