Old Women

Published May 14, 2015 by April Fox

They are relics now,

standing side by side in crumpled parchment

skin, flesh-colored stockings, sleeves and masks

left too long in the fold pile

slightly damp and scented of lavender,

sunshine and mildew.

They are sweeping with their skirts,

boot toes peeking out, laces frayed and tied

with fingers made of gnarled

cypress roots.

These are not the sculptures dressed in fancy hats and

printed scarves and lipstick painted on

with trembling hands

only to escape a moment later

to the tributaries flowing

from their mouths

These are drawings done on old newsprint

and paper bags, in fat brown crayons and dollar store

markers, splashed with paint and kool-aid,

the corner signed in careful script

“I love you”

and the names all in a row

too precious to forget.

Someday soon, they will be framed

and buried for posterity

stone plaques bearing the names and dates of the artists’

residence

mark their place in time, but for now

there is coffee to be drunk

and stories to be told

and when we look down and see our skin is

creased, and gold with age

across the backs of our clasped hands, we will sigh, and tuck a strand of graying hair behind our ear

and for a moment, glimpse a picture

of the things that we’ll become.

boots

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