Monday, February 14, 2011



No fun.
No gifts.
No one smiled at the shop.
Little legs,
never touched the floor,
never did anything but
swing back and forth…
Back and forth.
Little legs.
Little, little, little
legs kept swinging
back and forth…
Never knew back then
those legs…
those little legs
were filled with nerves.
Nerves connected to a heart
A worried heart.

he sat next to me,
both he and I stared,
stared for hours.
Stared, stared; stared
at an ugly witch lady who
carried thick white chalk.
She walked too slow.
Damn slow…
Still see her legs -
spindles, rolled down
stockings, brown sweater
and hair chopped
above her neck.
She made little legs
swing back and forth -
back and forth.

She glanced at Daddy
and me, shaking her head no.
Shaking that ugly head no.

Over and over…
Little legs, swing and swing…
Tired now, yet those nerves,
nerves I didn’t recognize
made them move…

Names were on a chalkboard,
never could read, just knew
where Mommy’s name was
placed. Knew. Knew
what her name looked like –
Daddy pointed it out…
That’s where little eyes stared.

People passed Daddy and I
carrying Milky Ways or
Three Musketeers. Some carried
Whitman Chocolates, balloons,
but I didn’t care….
never asked for candy, not then,
not on those days.
Daddy said hello to everyone,
told them my name…
I smiled,
didn’t want to smile but…
I smiled for Daddy…
would want me too.
From the corner of my eye
it was the ugly witch with a
piece of chalk I watched…
Chalk squeaking as she wrote,
sending chills up my back…

Marks appeared.
All those names with two
columns next to them – above
each step Mommy took,
recovery was first, then –
back to her room.
Everyone was getting chalk
marks, but Mommy, she
was always late, always last.

We kept sitting, waiting and
waiting. Daddy was nervous now,
talking little to people passing…
Now… watching a thin lady
carry chalk…

Daddy had feet which touched
the floor, feet that crossed and
uncrossed… Feet that tapped,
tapped, and tapped.
He assured me, soon…
Mommy would be back in her
room… so I smiled, he
always smiled back…
That witch lady never turned
our way, dam it – she knew we
were waiting; waiting for her
and that god awful hunk of white

Each time the phone rang,
she stood… slipped over to
the board… and finally the mark

My legs stopped. Daddy –
he stood up and stretched…
I just smiled, because I wanted

Daddy and I - we sat in front
of that gift shop, every other
month, side by side -
together in a love seat,
side by side - waited as
the years passed us by,
together, until the day Mommy

Even when my legs grew, and I
learned about nerves, I never
forgot that love seat, or the
witch lady carrying chalk…
I will never forget all the smiles,
waiting for love to survive.

Nancy Duci Denofio
@2011 all Rights Reserved
published in "What Brought You Here?" Dystenium LLC

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