She was Dressed like a Gymnast
While home for the holidays, dad took me out
for a walk across town to look at the stray cat
living under the old train bridge.
Someone made a Rubbermaid house,
filled it with straw & brought dry food
in glass bowls. It had soaked up the rain
like tiny fish-shaped sponges.
After that, we headed towards
the beer distributor, past the post office,
through the lot of the abandoned grocery store,
& around the bend.
From our valley, I looked up
to my ex-boyfriend’s house
he used to share with a friend,
perched on a cliff, sagging porch & all.
Their neighbors turned out to be murderers.
A ten-year-old cold case finally solved,
an eleven-year-old girl, raped by brothers.
Her body thrown, or pushed, or forced to jump
from a train trestle into a dry creek bed.
It happened on Halloween.
She was dressed like a gymnast.
After that, the whole town trick-or-treated in the daytime.
We wondered what it was like to wear masks at night.
Jamie Agnello, "who is a human, not a puppet...(NY Times)" is a theater artist, writer, and puppeteer based in Brooklyn. She is a staff member/performer/collaborator with Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, a teaching artist with The New Victory Theater, and a florist with Stems Brooklyn. MFA Poetry & MFA Theater from Sarah Lawrence College. www.jamieagnello.com