Thursday, March 18, 2021

No Shoes Required by Amy Lerman

When we shared a bedroom, my sister and I loved The Room
Is Mine
, a story of sisters who divided their own bedroom
with a jump rope. Like those sisters, we stretched the rope
vertically, then stood on either side, our toes tickling the shag
carpet, as we repeated their dialogue, “Everything on this
side is mine,” I, the proud owner of a hurricane window
and The Wizard of Oz poster, my sister’s settlement portion,
a small desk and the room’s door. During those separations,
I would pretend to have a bicycle awaiting on the roof—
Dad had shown us how to crawl out the window if ever
there was a fire—so I could still exit, my hair immediately
forming into silky braids despite Florida humidity, my feet
propelling me skyward until landing me in a technicolor
world of endless paths, only the happy parts of Dorothy’s
adventure—no flying monkeys or green-faced witches—,
nor older sister telling me “I won’t be your friend anymore”
if I didn’t bring her cookies, or crew-cutting my Malibu
Barbie’s once-waisted hair when she promised “it would be
a trim,” no—

there would just be me—

singing along with these weird, new friends who didn’t
care how sweat-stained my checkered dress, my bare
feet skipping as far as I could go.

Amy Lerman was born and raised on Miami Beach, moved to the Midwest for many years, and now lives with her husband and very spoiled cats in the Arizona desert, where she is residential English Faculty at Mesa Community College. She received her Master’s and Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Kansas, and her poems have appeared in Rattle, Smartish Pace, Common Ground Review, Prime Number, Solstice, and other publications.

No comments:

Post a Comment