Flannery’s company

October 22, 2019

“A serious fiction writer describes an action only in order to reveal
a mystery. Of course, he may be revealing this mystery to himself
at the same time as he is revealing it to everyone else.”

                              —Flannery O’Connor

 

They always do surprise me. I never
know what they are going to do until
just before they do it. A grandmother
comforting the man who killed her son,
an acned angel hoving her book
at racist Ruby, a bible salesman
swiping Hulga’s wood leg.  The clever
ways my people keep me fooled. I look
away for one second, and some evil
overcomes them—or some good—I had not
foreseen. In truth, I am in awe of them,
their human talent for thickening a plot.
They are my teachers. I just hold the pen
and wait for them to surprise me again.