Wrapped in Egyptian cotton
Laced with night-sweat,
My limbs rustle the bedding
Half asleep, groaning
Dreaming of a prim, principled old lady
Looking over her glasses at me, disapprovingly.
My stomach dancing
Like an unmedicated mental patient,
Clumsy pirouettes in a dusty lounge
Full of cheap furniture and disinfectant.
The old bag
Grips me and presses
Her nails into
The tender flesh of my upper arm.
“You ought to wear a bra in public,” she snaps.
I shake myself free from her grasp
As she falls, discarded like Tuesday’s trash.
She whines, “I will sue you—you little whore.”
I run through people
Who sway like stalks of wheat in a field.
I curse myself for caring,
For letting the old woman
Make me feel small.
But I keep running.
Feathers and Findings
by Nancy Dunaway