Kin (Pt. 1)

by George Thomas

An Only Daughter

was the promise of continuity
born under familiar lampposts
shone again in her father’s eyes
when the rubble of The Good War
cratered lawns
and grew Chicago for Her survived.

On a bungalow’s front stoop in May
she cradled
her kin for christening photos
yanking at the wave of her bouffant
that shielded them from the afternoon
and tobacco overcast
that tinted the cats eye behind Godmother’s camera
borrowing the affection of Sundays
immemorial for frames atop future mantles.

Her father bought her
her very own speaker-box
—The MAG Ten out of the Sears n Roebuck Catalog:
top of the line for its day—
and she jived with her girlfriends
in starched tablecloths
seamed from hips to knees
with embroidered poodles
hopping up and down sofa seats
and her kin watched
from the cove of a doorway
to a seldom used
immaculately modeled dining room
complete with plates set for
imagined guests
but the boys ran off with news
that a snapping turtle had bitten
a drunkard in Sherman Lagoon.
Her friends still shimmied in
the living room as she cried
out to her brothers from the stoop
before chasing them down 57th Street
surrendering her hair to the wind.