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.
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.