to describe women in the fifties,
the Donna Reeds of restraint,
the Harriet Nelsons of servility,
the my-very-own-mother
of synchophants.

How, when Father said “white is black,”
Mother replied, “Hmm? well…maybe you are right,”
as I sighed, under my breath, 
“how can that be?”

Meanwhile, I went to Vegas
floor shows as the young
guest of my best friend and her father
who owned a luxury hotel.

We’d sit in the audience sipping
Shirley Temples alongside Candace Bergen
and watched her father, Edgar,
put words in a dummy’s mouth (Charlie Mc Carthy!)
the way all fathers back then held the strings
to our lips and pulled them
open, shut


Gayle Kaune has been published widely in literary magazines including Seattle Review, Willow Springs, Whitefish Review, and Poet and Critic.  She been nominated for a Pushcart prize and her chapbook, Concentric Circles, won theFlume Press award. Her books include Still Life in the Physical World, published by Blue Begonia Press, and All The Birds Awake, currently out fromTebot Bach Press.  She is a retired psychotherapist and lives with her husband and a big white dog in Port Townsend, Washington.