Green Hills Literary Lantern



One Woman Show



I married a uniform

just before the war,

but a wheelchair came

home. After ten years

of hard nursing, his

death set me free.


I settled into widowhood,

got a job at the bank,

came and went at my whim.

Until the bank president's

wife died. Shortly,

too shortly I know now,

he noticed me, stopped by

to chat about the weather,

sent flowers to my desk.

Soon, he asked me to dinner.


We sat in the restaurant,

talking for hours. He

was going to take me

places I'd never been,

let me do, no, help me

do, things I've always

wanted to do. I saw

myself studying art at

the university, a one-

woman show in a gallery.


And then, we married.

I quit my job, no president's

wife ever a teller, and

moved into his first wife's

big house. I wanted

to enroll in an art class;

but I, the bank president's

wife, had no money in my

name, no car to drive, no

breath to take me away.

I'd reverted to a drudge

the same as before, only

more so, his house bigger,

the chores never-ending,

pleasing him impossible.



Yet I paint everyday, still

lifes with window cleaner,

abstracts with furniture

polish, Monets with the

kitchen mop. I even drew

his face on a tuna casserole

with shredded cheddar and

bread crumbs. He gobbled

it down without noticing.





Elizabeth Howard lives in Crossville, TN.  She writes both poetry and fiction.  Her work has appeared in Xavier Review, Elixir, Appalachian Heritage, The Distillery, Wind, Still, Comstock Review, Big Muddy, Cold Mountain Review, Poem, Mobius, Now & Then, Slant, and other journals.