WRITING WELL 3 - lady’s slipper

by Susan Weber

The black plush slippers looked almost new, although she’d worn them every day for three or four years now. Things she bought in the men’s department tended to hold up well. These could be machine-washed and line-dried, which the woman had intended to do before Christmas, not that they even looked dirty. It would have been nice symbolically, but the usual holiday cleaning and laying in of stores took precedence. In the end, the house did sparkle and everybody had a nice time.

Now, with the beached whale of a fraser fir lolling on the snowless curb, she took down her slip-ons from a lone rope strung across the attic. The Made in China soles were barely scuffed since she never wore them outside, except to get the mail off the porch. Her foot tended to mash down the soft lip of fabric meant to cup her careless heel. She liked how the slipper did its job without your typical female flourishes. Appliquéd butterflies left her cold.

The label inside read, John Ashford. The brand made her think of the similarly-named attorney general with a blameless voice, belting out Let The Eagle Soar. The eagle was America, guarding freedom’s door. John Ashcroft had made his staff cover up the Spirit of Justice that adorned the great hall where he worked. As for the woman bent low in dusty stillness, she had nothing against breasts or a statue’s sweet liberty to show one. To each his own, she thought, restoring her feet to their protected state, ensconced in the neatly stitched produce of a Chinese hand.

Public Domain photo by Carol M. Highsmith