WEBSTER PULLMAN – Remembering Molly

When Molly let me be her friend, I felt

honored. I never had a lot of friends,

just buddies at work, being a fat guy

who kept to myself, but Molly was special.

I knew it was mainly that she didn’t

have boyfriends, but she let me take her

to concerts and plays. I could see her relax

when the lights were down and no one stared.

 

 

She was born with a condition affecting her head.

Not her mind, but the way she looked. I paid

for the best doctors in Boston. The bones

were malformed so her nose was crooked;

her teeth were very bad and there wasn’t much

of a jaw. Even her eyes were out of kilter.

None of this bothered me—I knew the person

underneath—but it bothered Molly.

 

 

I made good money, my kind of science

in demand for the missiles race at the time,

so I had savings. It took four years—

operations, bone grafts, skin grafts, jaw

reconstruction, orthodontia the whole time.

She couldn’t keep a job, but it was fine with me

to pick up her expenses. Then the years

were over, and Molly was beautiful.

 

 

She started seeing a crowd I didn’t like

but every week I took her to dinner, proud

of the way she looked and how happy she was,

no longer insecure. I was glad for her when she married

and moved away, though she forgot to leave me

her address. I knew I was her past, and the past

was over. The good that I did for her

would always be mine to remember.

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