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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 2, June 2019

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Edwardsburg, Michigan, USA

Spit Shine

Mrs. Crimmins drives a 1960s ocean-going station wagon and behind the driver’s seat is a rusted floorboard with a hole. My sister Joyce and I look through the hole to watch the street zoom past. On each carpool ride home from school, we work on chipping away at the rust to make this window a little larger.

During one ride, Joyce sticks her left foot in the hole so it lightly touches the pavement below. Mrs. Crimmins asks whether anyone hears a strange noise. “No,” responds the chorus of student passengers.

As we pull up in front of our house, Joyce lifts her foot out of the hole and steps out of the car.

The white polish on the toe and all the leather is completely worn off her left shoe. The sole is worn down too, but only on one side. Joyce compares her right shoe with her left shoe. We laugh so hard we cry. Then our mother’s car pulls into the driveway.

church bells
each pair of shoes
with a spit shine



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