High-Heeled Woman
Martin Galvin

She’s out for breakfast with her balancing son.
Even her wrinkles shine toward a thin old man
she’d like to know better than Good Morning.

He’s three tables down, reading the morning news,
stroking a thick mug of diner coffee with hands
as delicate as chipped cups of Dresden china.

She eats the eggs and homefries standing up,
her eyes fixed on the man, her voice pulling him
toward her. Her son is happy she’s a little hungry.

When her husband grew age rings
around his middles and took to sitting down,
he read the comic pages out loud,

every slant and stipple of them, and laughed
as only young boys used to. She loved him
for it more than anything she could remember

of the odds and ends of forty years.
He’d hold that paper at arms-length and chuckle
down in his belly and let the laugh spread like an explosion.

Tonight, she will iron out the dress she wore
the night he gagged from laughing so hard and died
right there in front of her. She hasn’t had the chance

to like that dress since then. She will wear high heels
too, black and open-toed and high enough to let her
be seen, let that man, see her as she really is.

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