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LAce Posted Monday, September 29th, 2008
Lady Feet
Kim Townsel

I was a tomboy, sweaty in my brother’s clothes. He and I made Indian headdresses with feathers that we found in the yard.

“You’ll get mites in your head, just wait and see,” said my Aunt Selma.

“I’ll wash my hair tonight.” I felt shamed and didn’t know why. Aunt Selma always made me feel nasty. I wanted to run away from her and her perfect red lips. She lived in Denver, which sounded exotic to me.

Really, she wasn’t my aunt. She was my mother’s cousin, but there were so many relatives who came around too infrequently, that it didn’t seem worth the bother to sort them out. My mother and her sisters whispered about Aunt Selma, but smiled to her face. Aunt Selma would fly in, smelling of cologne that cleaned my nose, making it run.

She inhaled and then dangled her cigarette with its red lipstick marks. She reached down and wiped a speck of dust from her high heeled shoe. She wore hose in August, sitting outside in a lawn chair. “If you don’t stop running around barefooted,” she said, “and start taking better care of those feet, you’ll never get a husband.”

I curl my toes under my feet. “We’re just playing cowboy and Indian.”

“You are too wild,” she said.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by jocelyn johnson on Sunday, October 5th, 2008 at 9:22 PM
I loved the textures here, the the way the objects (feathers, mites, a heeled shoe) tell the stories of these people. Lovely read.

Posted by Renee Raven [ ] on Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 1:42 AM
You painted a vivid picture with these details. Thank you for sharing.

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