Kelley White
Double Wide

Graphic by Paul Murphy

Mother insisted, so after the surgery
I sit like a kid on the back steps
with the onions and winter boots
to call the two Pearls
from K-mart
and of course they are breathless
and weeping and I know they're thinking
I'm just like their daughters, divorced,
depressed, heavy, and how
Mother worries

I'll grow up to be the crazy fat lady
with all the cats living in one room
in the big old house but now Mother's fear
is that they'll come to visit
and of course they do,
Big Pearl with her O2 tank
and walker, Little Pearl all fidget
in yet another wedding suit
(this one, the Pink Tropic)
from QVC

and she'll talk about the wedding,
postponed again, by Carl the Butcher
she had a fling with in the sixties,
a double amputee diabetic,
his wife's dead now,
so he calls her, came to visit
but they couldn't get the wheelchair
into her trailer (Big Pearl whispers
she wouldn't hold her breath
on building the ramp) 

but Little Pearl's made room
in the closet, bought a Queen
size bed and I'm thinking how you called
me after twenty-three years
surprised to like me
more now than that skinny little
bitch, me, you kissed back then
how I won't let you come see me
how I'm thinking you might come marry me
if you ever get diabetic and go blind