Citrus Eaters

“He DIDN’T!”  She gasps and her bony fingers fly up to her mouth, stopping it up.  Stuffing back the surprise.  “Oh honey, he sure DID!  Nekkid as a jay bird he was!  Just as nekkid as a little bitty baby!” The two of them sit together on the porch swing, all gaunt and angles, huddled together with foreheads nearly touching, as if the proximity of their scalps one to the other could convey the gossip like an electric charge through two nodes.  “Oh my gracious.  I suppose it’s just a matter of time before they send him off, too.  They just can’t even be bothered to care for him n’more.  ‘Specially when he keeps on a tearin’ off his britches and fetchin’ off like that.  Mercy, mercy.  Poor ol’ Gussy.”   They both have tender little oranges cradled between knobby knees, peeling with fingers just as dry and brittle as a chicken bone, the skins falling into fragrant little heaps in the scoop of their laps.  “Sweetheart, save these an’ put ’em in with yer niester wares.  I do and when I open my drawer to take out my unders, it smells just like a sunny day in Florida.”  Two heads bob with contentment as the oranges are pried apart and gummed zestily down.  “Got some drips on yer chin, Glory.  Catch ’em.” 

“Look at them.  I just don’t KNOW what to do!”  The matronly daughters of our two citrus eaters peek out the front room window, watching as Mama’s do little babies.  “Oh, my.  I know.  I know.  I think it’s time to start thinking about sending Mama Glory to the home.  Do you know that I keep finding ORANGE PEELS mixed up in her unmentionables?!?  Can you just imagine?”  Fingers fly up to stuff back the surprise.  “She isn’t!” “Honey, she sure is.”


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