Monday, January 26, 2009

Mama's Fancy Christmas Shoes by Misti Rainwater-Lites

After the funeral I put on Mama's fancy Christmas shoes.

They were black velvet decorated with bright symbols

of that Christian holiday that had become so unabashedly

commercialized and cheapened. Colorful glass balls.

Candy canes. Cowardly yellow stars. Balls break,

candy canes rot teeth, yellow stars portend nothing

while pretending instant holiness. It's enough to

make a cowgirl want to shoot out her horse's eyes

and hang herself in plain view of the whole goddamn

peanut munching corral. I put on the shoes, though,

because I was naked otherwise. I put on the shoes

because I wanted to feel closer to Mama who was

gone to a place I would never see. I put them on

and did a dance.

I felt like tapping even though there were no taps

on the soles of these shoes.

Suddenly I wanted to cook breakfast

for most of the world.

I wanted to marry a man who would

expect me to bring him peach cobbler

and ice cream while he sat on his ass

watching Westerns on the plasma television.

I wanted to put blinders on and trot my way

through the Valley of Denial.

I was the most ambitious cheerleader

since Eleanor Roosevelt.

I took the shoes off.

There was no one around to kiss the sores.

"Family Tradition" was on the radio.

I threw the shoes at the radio.

I missed.

Misti Rainwater-Lites is the poetry editor at decomP, the editor and publisher of Instant Pussy and the art editor at The Poetry Warrior. She has chapbooks available through Kendra Steiner Editions, Erbacce Press, Scintillating Publications and Deadbeat Press.

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