Saturday, April 4, 2020

My Voice

Social distancing has been a boon to me and my voice,
allowing us to get to know each other better and
to better understand why we haven't always gotten along.

We see it now as having been a lack of mutual respect:
my voice, who told me to call him Valdemort, actually
apologized for embarrassing me in company--

both polite and informal. And I apologized to him
for being controlling and not sufficiently appreciative
when he does his impressions, suddenly realizing

when I'd said they weren't bad, especially his
Jimmy Stewart and his John Wayne, and that I especially
liked his Kennedy, that he had taken this as patronizing.

Nor could I deny his accusation that I always quickly
extricate myself from company—especially the informal--
whenever he does his W.C. Fields and opera soprano

impressions. Stung, I mumbled that I rarely flee from
polite company at these times, and he said this is because
polite company pretends it likes us, and I found myself nodding

like a fool, and staring at my feet when he said that last part about
polite company and I muttered something I can't even remember
very well, like...something like, umm I didn't know that.

                                                                                                                                m.d. paust

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