Cosmetics Girl and Other Anomalies


Raised up the hard way
all the way back
before the house with the big vegetable garden
depression era dresses
made from patterned flour sacks
yard full of black Labrador pups
leaving muddy paw prints on her
just washed school clothes
as she gathered the eggs
from a coop full of vicious chickens

Way back to the farm in South Dakota
where her mother faced her own hard way
golden sister dying young
Dot disobedient
unloved and unwanted
packing her things at 16
walking down the dirt road
toward the big cities
and Donaldson’s cosmetic counter

The stiff backs and set faces
the smile a genuine surprise each time it broke
muscles moving awkwardly around its unfamiliar shape
bodies tensed in anticipation of anguish
life surely brimming with plenty of pain

Like a thornish heirloom
pushed from woman to woman
life, and men, will surely batter
their greatest gift is to teach
steel yourself and endure

If I could unravel the tight stitches
of their tattered cowls
swathe them in silk instead
transform balled fists to caresses
proffer gossamer thin goblets
sloshing with ease and adoration
would Dot still have seen 100
or broken sooner
another egg smashed in the coop

@Julie Ayers, May 2011


About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

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