Kyle’s Ford, Tennessee

by on June 4, 2016 :: 1 comment

I want to tell this story
from the beginning
though I really only know the end.
When you were five
there were six of you
one pair of shoes
one good dress
between you.
You weren’t yet big enough
but you dreamed of buttoning the collar
of the dress around your neck
spinning like cotton candy
twirling the hem into a tutu.

When you were ten
and there were eight of you
two pair of shoes
one for the little ones
one for the bigger,
you smoothed the dress
over your legs
knocked your knees
pulled at the hem
and folded into the davenport
losing your silhouette to the pillows.

When you were thirteen
and there were five of you –
the little ones died,
two pair of shoes
one put away
one for the rest of you,
wearing that dress
the hem hugging your thighs
just the way men like
you scurried through the door
like it was your fault.

When you were fifteen
there were three of you,
the others had left,
two pair of shoes
and the landlord wanted paid.
You put on your Mother’s dress
grabbed the bottle of whiskey
took him to the root cellar
and paid the rent.

When you were seventeen
there were two of you left
three pair of shoes
one you earned paying rent,
you put on your own dress
slapped fifty dollars on the table
and hitchhiked to Savannah.

When you were eighty-five
and there was one of you
I laced your feet into ballet slippers
fluffed the tutu around your
skinny slim body
and we rolled out the door
of the Magnolia Manor
Fuck the landlord!

– Becky Sanvictores

editors note:

A liberation tale. Nicely told! – mh clay

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