Gazing Everywhere

"Find a little yellow side street house. Put an older woman in it. Dress her in that tatty favorite robe, pull her slippers up before the sink, have her doing dishes, gazing nowhere--at her own backyard. Gazing everywhere.

From Life Magazine.

From Life Magazine.

Something falls outside, and loud. One damp thwunk into new grass. A meteor? She herself (retired from selling formal clothes at Wanamaker's, she herself a widow and the mother of three scattered sons, she herself alone at home a lot these days), goes onto tiptoe, leans across a sinkful of suds, sees out near her picnic table--something nude, white, overly long. It keeps shivering. Both wings seem damaged." (36)

Gurganus, Allan. "It Had Wings" Harper's Magazine, February 1986. Originally published in the Paris Review, Winter 1985. Also found here.


Her current self: a robe, former self: formal clothes. Contrast! Also, parentheses.