Before the days of searching for The Hole, before Spahn’s, before
the man formerly known as The Gardener found her on a park bench
with her dictionary and mascara, she was a star — pretty, poised, perfect
in pitch, singing songs from “Annie Get Your Gun” as the adults praised
her fine performance, her politeness, her gentle way with the little ones.
Before Tex, Sadie, Gypsy, Ouisch, Katie, Lulu, Cupid and Capistrano,
before old George bestowed the first pinch that would yield
her onomatopoeic moniker, she was the pet of the older Lariats,
those singing, dancing, wholesome kids she’d come to know as Family.
Always more at home on a bus than in living the American Dream.
Before the drug burn, Hinman’s severed ear, before Cielo, before bloodied
“paw prints” on the LaBiancas’ wall, before they all would ever admit
that things got evil like BOOM — she was the glue. She held the licenses,
the gas cards, minded the horses, minded George, knew the communal
pile of clothes well enough to outfit the party sent into the hills that night.
Lynette, stripped of sparkle, status and bonds, dons her red robes
in her attic apartment on P Street.
Who would deny
the fresh-faced, pig-tailed Lariat the chance
to again do “what comes naturally”?