Crying cockles and mus—

Alive, alive oh

Alive, alive oh

Brenda. Good you’re awake. I’ve still got the voice. Haven’t I Brenda.

Yes Frank. Yes you do.

I’m glad you’re up, I was vacuuming the kitchen and somehow I’ve lost a…what do you call it…an attachment…help me look for it will you. 

Which one was it.

Long one. Slanted. For getting in corners.

Like the one there on the end table?

That’d be the one.

It’s 7 a.m. Lola and Ed won’t be here until four.

I thought I’d do the kitchen and dining room now, and the living room just before they get here. She has allergies you know. Lola does.

No. Actually. I didn't.

Oh yes. Mostly the usual. Pollen. Dust, animal dander. And elm and poplar trees, interestingly.

Yes. I'm going to make coffee.

Bring me some would you. That's my girl.

Brenda sighed. She filled the carafe. It was after two when her head hit the pillow.

She had reminded Frank that Ed was diabetic. But Brenda, he said. You make it so well. It looks so nice on our table. So nice for our guests as they walk through door. When the house smells like blueberry pie.

Brenda where is the Swim-Kleer.

In that basket on the aquarium stand. You’re not going to try and clean the aquarium before they come.

I certainly am.

She looked at floor. She bit the inside of her cheek.

You don’t want Lola and Ed to come over. That’s it, isn’t it Brenda.

I didn’t—I never said that.

No one has set foot in this house for weeks Brenda. For weeks.

Joni. Joni was here.

…oh…I forgot about that…

Don’t…don’t call her a “that.” You didn’t forget, you erased her. You erase people. I tell you Ed can’t have sugar and you have me make pie. I was up until two and you woke me up singing…I know what you sing for. Who, I should say. Lola this Lola that. You sing...and you clean…so she won't get the sniffles. I went through chemo. You didn't clean or sing for me. You erase people. Where do they go. Where does everything go you erase.

In Dublin's

fair city, where

the girls

are so pretty 


Brenda where’s the attachment.

I'm through with the walls. I'm through with the floors.

Weeks Brenda.

Weeks Brenda weeks. 

Alive alive oh.

I’ve still got the voice.

Haven’t I Brenda.