By Joni Haws
I wouldn’t mind me some new shoes. George used to find me the most gorgeous shoes. Amy says I don’t need them, and she’s right, of course. But I love new shoes.
She’s a sweet little thing, that Amy, bouncing in and out of here, but she needs to get that hair out of her eyes. I don’t fret when she gets a bit patronizing. She can’t see beneath the wrinkles and stooped shoulders to find the dancer, the lover, or the woman who buried three of her six children while their daddy was fighting the war.
There was a party for me in the rec. room, with silly streamers and cake I couldn’t eat. I loved seeing my boys, but they never seem to be able to stay long. I let them squeeze my hands and I told them I was tired. I was too. I’m plum worn out.
I’m no fool. I know this is just a prison with a pretty name. Once the hearing goes and your hips become a threat they tuck you into a quiet little cell with floral wallpaper. I’m not angry at them though.
George and I promised each other that the first one to go was to come right back for the other. Twenty-six years later, it’s the first time I’ve been stood up. You can bet he’ll get an earful next time I see him, and he better get me a damn fine pair of shoes.