Something’s Happening to Madeleine Weil

by Mark Chmiel

After hearing Cal speak
Of his trips to Friendship Villages
Madeline Weil started missing classes

She’d rather read in the library
Than go to Business Law classes
She’d study the photos of the children

She checked out autobiographies and memoirs
From decades ago by people her granddad’s age
And something began to change

Without her even noticing it
Her eating habits became less compulsive
Less time-and-energy-consuming

The more she contemplated the emaciated bodies
Of the Vietnamese then and now
The less attention she paid to her own body

Something new
Something different
Was eating away at her

–from novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

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