Spring 1987 • Vol. IX No. 2 A PoemApril 1, 1987 |

Stories

It was back when we used to listen to stories,   our minds developing pictures as we were taken into the elsewhere of our experience or to the forbidden   or under the sea. Television was wrestling, Milton Berle, Believe It Or Not. We knelt before it   like natives in front of something sent by parachute, but when grandfather said "I'll tell you a story,"   we stopped with pleasure, sat cross-legged next to the fireplace, waited. He'd sip gin and hold us, his voice   the extra truth beyond what we believed without question. When grandfather died and changed   what an evening meant, it was 1954. After supper we went to the television, innocents in a magic land   getting more innocent, a thousand years away from Oswald and the shock, the end of our enormous childhood.   We sat still for anything, laughed when anyone slipped or lisped or got hit with a pie. We said   to our friends "What the hey?" and punched them in the arms.

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