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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Prose Poem: 397 words
By Dotty LeMieux

I Remember: Me and Glenn

 

I remember sitting in the window of Shoudy’s Butcher Shop next door to our house on South Westnedge Street with my little brother and best friend Glenn, eating baloney Mrs. Shoudy sliced with a big machine in the back room. The cat would sit in the window too, and we would all watch people and cars in the street, and customers in the store getting their meat wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.

I must have been five and Glenn three, because by the time he was four he was sick with leukemia and there was no more sitting in Shoudy’s front window. It wasn’t long after that Shoudy’s Butcher Shop got shut down by the health department on account of the cat.

And while we’re talking about food, I remember baloney with pimento-stuffed olives inside, which I ate right out of the package. And cream cheese in squares wrapped in foil, which I may have eaten right out of the package too. I remember saltine crackers with peanut butter and honey, a go-to evening snack I ate well into my year at Gordon College. I remember hot chocolate made with Nestle’s cocoa and milk, and the Hershey bars I still love best of all chocolate treats. And Be-Mo potato chips right out of the bag eaten in front of the TV, alternating bites with vanilla wafers on a plate. The sweet-and-salt perfect for watching Bonanza or Gunsmoke. Lots of Westerns in those days, the 1950’s kids’ evening after-homework prize.

I remember Glenn being sick, but not him getting sick. I remember car rides over rolling hills where Pass With Care and Do Not Pass alternated as Dad’s car moved along. We would be going to Ann Arbor where the hospital was; the one that changed old blood for new, bad blood for good. I sat in the back with Glenn, who was quiet, looking out the window on his side of the car, behind Dad, as I watched the highway signs go by outside my window behind Mom. Dad watched the road and Mom, I think, watched for signs between the signs, signs reading Time Is Short, alternating with There Is Always Hope, over and over. Of course I did not think that then. But I believe it to be true, now.

 

 

—From I Remember, the author’s in-progress series of prose poems, one of which appears in Issue 10 of MacQ: I Remember: The Bin Laden Girls, September 2001

Dotty LeMieux
Issue 12, March 2022

is the author, most recently, of a chapbook entitled Henceforth I Ask Not Good Fortune (Finishing Line Press, 2021). Other chapbooks include Five Angels (Five Trees Press, 1976), Let Us Not Blame Foolish Women (Tombouctou Books, 1983), and The Land (Smithereens Press, 1988). Her writing has appeared in numerous print and online journals and anthologies, such as Beautiful Cadaver Social Anthology (a Camp fire anthology), Gyroscope, Painted Bride, Rise Up Review, Solo Novo, The Marin Poetry Center Anthology, and Writers Resist, among others. In the 1980s, she edited the eclectic literary magazine Turkey Buzzard Review. She now lives in Northern California, where she practices environmental law and helps elect progressive candidates to office.

Author’s blog: Dotty LeMieux Poems and More

 
 
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