This is a semi-fictionalized account of my mother's family. It's been cleaned up a bit. The title (which I'm not sure works) refers to the fact that shoes were very hard to come by.
in the corner, saved for winter
The clouds sometimes look like eyes. On the back porch, Ruby washes lettuce in a bucket, her apron damp from splashes. Her mother falls, sprawls in the furrows, gingham skirt over her knees, stockings dark with a wet rush. The baby, another baby, is coming. The younger children shriek like crows, stuff dirty fingers in their mouths, clatter into the house. Rachel, the youngest, grabs her mother’s hand, tells her to get up. Her mother calls for Ruby. Ruby plucks a lettuce leaf, sticks it in between her teeth, tasting snow and rust. Her mother yells, Ruby, Ruby. Ruby shakes out her skirt, goes to the pump to rinse her hands. She remembers the elephant she touched once at a carnival, skin as big as the sky, wrinkled like a map, dark eye fixed ahead.