*Editor's Note: Previously published in Aphros Literary Magazine
Her scrubs of gruesome bright colors first thing in the kitchen. Her
Favorites were gross greens, querulous purples, sinister sunflower
Prints. Less outlandish only are her reading-glasses-chains.
She doesn’t eat breakfast, but drinks Earl Grey tea in a travel mug.
In black and white snapshots from the 60s she looks like Audrey
Hepburn to me, all angles and beauty, brown eyes. She liked blues. As all
Beautiful young girls are unhappy, so was she.
She was a fifties child, sixties teen, seventies divorcee, eighties bus driver,
Nineties x-ray guru, a millennium saint…she likes salad for lunch;
Ice cream all other hours. Why is she so thin and tall? What is
The secret of her cheekbones and shy, lipsticked grin?
Bugs Bunny cartoons always made both of us laugh, but after
Divorce numero dos she didn’t have time to watch. She’d play tapes
Of herself reading anatomy books instead, or, in a frenzy to relax,
Ride bicycles in the Back Bay. She made food stamps a game.
Now the hard times are over. 3rd marriage, 2 houses, 2 grown kids,
1 great church, a snug career. She’s a Protestant now. Jesus is real
to us; Jesus is all to us. Trader Joe’s food is in our pantry,
Redwood needles on our road.