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POETRY AIRSTREAM TRAILER / Ginger Bingham The late model cars on our street are bright green, sour yellow, or a color my father calls sky-blue pink, and the Airstream rises above them all like a silver loaf. Parked close along the curb, not yet hitched to our neighbor's Dodge, it becomes the center of our play. My brother and I ignore the riveted seams and love the way the sides reflect our routine of high kicks. We draw back to our own yard, watch a salesman smooth his hair and brush his wide lapels before the mirror of curving fenders. But the real marvel here, my father tells us, is that a family could ride cross country, could live for months inside the trailer. How right he is and practical, but as he goes on about Yosemite, the Grand Tetons, all the places to see, we know that our family will stay here for a while. My mother still has a habit of following him from room to room, and she is waiting on the flagstone path each afternoon when he steps out of the Plymouth. Like the parents of every child we know, they lived through a just war and a long separation. After dinner we set up lawn chairs. Paul and I sit close to the sidewalk, Mother and Dad nearer the house. We like them that way, behind us, at a little distance. They slap away mosquitoes and kiss loudly now and then while we watch the moon place harmless dents in the Airstream's sides. The Missouri Review · 9 SONGS OF THE TYPING SCHOOL / Ginger Bingham We go single file down the narrow steps to the exit at the street, one bulb overhead on a rusty chain. That redhead always sings some terrible song, "Que Sera Sera" or "Love is Sweeping the Country." We have practiced for hours, timing ourselves and copying orders for yards of baling wire, boxes of hair nets. Before we leave, Miss Fein checks the length of our nails. We are not, she tells us, at Elizabeth Arden. I say good night to no one. The real hicks give themselves away, trying to signal for taxis I'm sure they can't afford. Other girls are just tired. Bending, they run their fingers along the seams of their stockings. I live four blocks west of here. They caU this "conveniently located." I believe in the signs above the city, not the cures for fallen arches, but in their shapes and colors, bright and impractical. I also believe in working hard, in saving money. These are virtues in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I'm not lonely enough 10 · The Missouri Review to sing myself to sleep. I begin a letter home, wanting to write: Each night my room settles with the same sound in the same place, the crack at the baseboard of the empty alcove. Instead, I say: The Dobniks, the Millers were right. You can't see all this city in just one day. Ginger Bingham The Missouri Review · 11 THE CALENDAR AT AVERY'S / Ginger Bingham I walk to Avery's past the fading red pumps where only a few cars a day break the monotony of the soft gravel. Inside dozens of tools hang from the walls, stacks of invoices reach almost to the ceiling and a steady warmth spills from Avery's calendar. A decade old, one photograph remains, tan girl kneeling on a beach. Letters below her read, "North Miami Savings and Loan." I don't dwell on the shape of her breasts under the latex suit or tire arc of her arms as she clutches a ball above her sun-streaked hair. I feed on background, a hotel with a veranda, bungalows of flaming pink and pale green awnings, lines of yellow chairs. I see all the colors from boxes of salt-water taffy. What do I care during these afternoons if it snows or rains into every rotting mailbox along the post road or if the year's biggest storm shakes the clapboards, hurling a few over the building? I find my singular vision past the girl on the beach. AU I know of the good...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 7-12
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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