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Wednesday, September 05, 2007


by Deborah Geis

"For all the public drama of Arthur Miller's career—his celebrated plays (including Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, his social activism—one character was absent: the Down-syndrome child he deleted from his life."
--"Arthur Miller's Missing Act" by Suzanna Andrews in Vanity Fair September 2007

is not traveling tonight (or any other night)
on a plane:
he hasn't been off the grounds
since that time when he was seven
and he and that lady
who said she was his mother
took a drive to the beach--
she had a camera and took pictures
but only of the rocks.

Someone told him
that his dad writes plays.
He knows what that means--
he likes to play--
and sometimes he plays with the younger ones
though he's too old for dollhouses.
They have a family that bends
and he likes to make them
watch TV together.
And he also likes to write,
he can write his name:
one time he did it over and over
till the crayon broke
and there was no space left
on the big white sheet.

Deborah Geis is Associate Professor of English at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. She has published several books and articles on contemporary drama. Her poems have appeared in First Class, Free Lunch, and Bellicose Lettres. She is also a (recovering) slam poet and was in the 2000 National Poetry Slam.