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Chase Twichell

Chase Twichell

Chase Twichell's most recent book is Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been (Copper Canyon, 2010), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize from Claremont Graduate University and the Balcones Poetry Prize. She splits her time between Miami and Upstate New York.

The Portors

Whenever Mom's on the phone,
she can hear the Portors
talking in the background.
The Porters?
No, it's Portors, with two o's.
That's how they spell it.
Bill and What's-her-name Portor.

Who are they? What do they talk about?
How the hell should she know?
They natter in the wires, the wind,
the airwaves. She doesn't eavesdrop.
And that's all there is to say
about the Portors.

She drinks white wine, I drink red.
We're laughing about all kinds
of crazy things from the past,
like the time Dad took her duck hunting
and the two of them lay invisible in poison ivy,
newly engaged. Bad start.

When her memory goes wandering,
she follows it. Sometimes she picks up
its faint trail. Sometimes it slips
into the underbrush just ahead of her,
headed for wherever it is I'm also bound
after the stories and the wine,
the other funerals and the giving-away
of all but the very favorite things,
just enough to furnish one room.
I'm not worried, not afraid.
I won't be alone. I'll have company—
Bill and What's-her-name.

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