Upon learning of her adaptive scriptwriting accomplishments, we can fix the explanation for Evie Christie’s complex use of motivation, conflict, pathos, and trauma—humanity’s theater writ large in her work. That she does it with Shakespearean wit follows unexpectedly. A resident of Ontario, her other collections include Gutted and The Bourgeois Empire.
Once carried a dog-eared Tolstoy
in their bag. Hitchhiked out of little towns
to slightly bigger towns and worked
nights, studied and kept their hair neatly or not
neatly on top of their heads. Before they met our fathers.
And later sat passenger back to the smaller town,
got fatter and had babies and got ‘80s thin again.
Grimaced through half of their lives
so much so we thought
that was them smiling. So much so
you squint and hold the rectangular photograph closer
and ask your brother, is mom smiling here or crying?
Our mothers behind the cellophane, in wedding dresses, lighting
birthday candles, preferring one of us over another,
graduating, standing in pantsuits with their siblings at a family dinner
smiling or crying, we’ll never know.
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