[Readings] Repeat After Me, By Jacqueline Waters | Harper's Magazine

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[Readings]

Repeat After Me

Adjust

From a manuscript in progress.

Let they who thought all that up
enjoy more of that

while I take care of this customer
who may not know I am not

a help line, though I am attentive
to the peculiarities of any problem

anyone calls me over about.
I discover you’re alone

and don’t like anything around you.
And on the pillow your ear

hears the thunderstorm
straight from the poly-fil.

You’ve been caught, say by a belt
tightening around your middle

but still you wave
a utensil around

to show right-handedness.
I think it will help

if I repeat after you
without you knowing

your words don’t land
but pass over me

like wildly scattered showers.
Then you repeat after me.

Then the sun will shine, in a proud way,
on our cold, embarrassed land.


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