aunties' feet

By: Octavia Williams

Bony fingers whipping, winding, wrinkling ‘cross my scalp
Heat near ears - don’t do it - yep, she’s scalded me
“Girl, don’t wail like that!” Popped with comb
Wince and whine, smile inside - aunties like this are rare
No they’re not, dime a dozen, priceless
Only found in corner liquor stores
Smoky bus stops, beauty supply shops
And in the whites of church mothers’ eyes
My feet will be aunties’ feet someday,
Mantled in little white heels
Peppered with peeling red bunions
Ice box stocked with sweet tea
And little butter bowls boasting everything but butter
Vaselined teeth and white musk doused down my blouse
My feet will be aunties’ feet someday.