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Minnesota Thighs

Updated: Jan 30, 2019



In the summer,

sweating in the air conditioned Toyota, I ask

Who turned on my seat warmer?

But it’s never on. Just my body

adjusting to fifty.


Today, it’s cold enough outside to hold the Starbucks cup

without a cardboard sleeve.

Let the burn penetrate hand, and travel

to the legs that push

through unplowed parking lot.

My legs skirt

and zigzag around

the dance of salted cars parked helter skelter

in a lot where snow has erased

the yellow lines.


Memory appears like fruit flies in the kitchen. There

in front of your face. Clap your hands. Look

in the palms.

Gone.


What the hell did I come out here for?

I get in the seat heated Toyota, start it up, back up,

go. With coffee. Without my list.


Forget my list,

forget my husband’s birthdate while filling out a form,

leave my Visa card

on the sticky table at the Hungry Tummy Restaurant.

Yet, remember what Mr. Peterson said in eighth grade biology

to us Minnesota girls.

The body, he said, adapts.

In winter our thighs will collect fat cells

to protect us from the cold.


I drive slow through the snow, note

the same old streets that get plowed.

The ones that don’t.


Apparently, in eighth grade,

Nicole Gillete’s Pom Pom thighs

had a higher threshhold than my own

to the cold. Hers

remained smooth and thin like a plastic Barbie doll’s legs.


Winter wakes up the mind.

Snow drifts that curl like waves

between the garage

and the house next door

bring you back.

Memory shapes memories

the way you want them.


I have no idea

what I left the house for, but here is the Denim Depot.

The uncomfortable way I’m forced to sit up straight

in order to breathe in these jeans

gives me reason to pull in

to this finely plowed lot.

It is time to call my Fat Jeans:

Skinny Jeans.

Cowgirl up. Go up a size.


Teen age girls tip toe cautiously

in suede boots over the neatly

piled snow in front of the Depot entrance.

Butter cream frosting lining the sidewalk.

The perfect edges on a Sweet Sixteen birthday cake.

I plow by in rubber and nylon.

Open the door first.


I drive home, the last inch

of hot coffee gone frappuccino.

The plastic Denim Depot bag

stiff with negative wind-chilled air.

The garage door clunks open.

Steam from car exhaust hits frigid air and

fills the garage like a biology experiment

in Mr. Peterson’s class.

I go to turn the key and see the E.

Gas. I left the house for gas.


January 7, 2019





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