Learn to Lean
Marcy pokes me with a broom handle while I'm at the sink doing dishes.
She asks why I'm standing on one foot and I explain that it keeps me
from throwing my back out.
"Why would it matter if you only stand on one foot?"
I tell her I'm not sure, that I've thrown my back out doing stupid
things before, and that even a slight lean over the sink could knock
things out of place.
"When I stand on one foot," I say, "it seems to take the pressure
"Please stop that," I say.
Marcy asks me something else while I scrub a crusty spot from a bowl.
The crust is pink and I wonder what it could have been. I only hear the
word "what" and I imagine she asked me "What are you?" so I tell her I
may be a chair, or even a pillow. My mind has been wandering badly of
late and I forget what I am sometimes. But this answer displeases her
and she starts swinging the broom handle at the back of my knee.
"Marcy, that hurts."
I see a hummingbird outside the window above the sink. Part
of me mistakes it for my reflection so I hum and hover in front of
Marcy. She asks me something again but it's taking so much energy to
remain in the air that all of my senses are compromised. Marcy is a
colorful blur and the fact that I'm hovering must freak her out because
she hits me on the head with the broom handle and I drop.
She tells me that I worry too much and that I should just be what I am.
"I love what you are," she says and then she helps me to my feet. She
pulls me toward her and I feel the lean. I think to lift a foot but I
Mel Bosworth is the author of When the Cats Razzed the Chickens and Grease Stains, Kismet, and
Maternal Wisdom (forthcoming from Aqueous Books).
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/201003learn.htm
Detail of illustration on main page courtesy
of Mister Kha.
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