Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Saturday in the Swing"

Saturday in the swing   
      serenaded with cicada song   
           and the chuck-chuck-chuck    
                of chiding squirrels   
I float   
      aimless—and appreciative   
           of quiet moments spent swaying   
My dog calls greeting to our neighbor   
     rolling her Rs like that old Ruffles commercial   
          she’s a sentry   
               sniffing out lizards   
A breeze plays with my writing paper   
     dances the words among the shadows   
           cast from sun and leaves   
                making me dizzy in the Texas heat   
A paw taps my knee   
      accompanied by a whine   
           I’m abandoned   
                for central air   
Moisture collects     
      on the back of my neck   
           on upper lip   
                around my hairline   
                     behind my knees   
I inhale humidity   
      yet I linger   
           savoring my Saturday in the swing   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"A Walk in the Woods"

The woman stood in the sunlight, swiping the beads of sweat that smarted her eyes to tears. Her tongue licked her parched lips. Her hands plucked at her t-shirt, pulling it away from her saturated skin. She puffed hot breath down her shirt front, but only succeeded in hastening the roll of perspiration down her cleavage.
           “You could strip down,” her husband teased from the open doorway as he yanked his own soaked t-shirt over his head. Swiftly, he unfastened his Cargo shorts and stepped clear of them as they pooled on the deck.
           The look she shot his way momentarily heated the air another degree or two, and then a smile broke across her face. “You’re right, of course,” she agreed as she hastily kicked her sandals aside. With an ease her husband admired, she freed herself from t-shirt and shorts. For a moment, she hesitated as her eyes held his in challenge. Then she stripped down to bare skin. She pivoted on the deck, raising her arms in supplication to the hot July sun. Closing her eyes, she whispered an incantation calling for the slightest breeze to tease across her heated skin and dry the moisture that slicked her figure.
           “I think I’ll take a walk in the woods,” she held out her hand to her husband. “Are you coming?”
        He took her hand and swiftly guided her into the cool canopy created by the trees. Once out of direct sunlight, he felt a subtle shift in temperature as shade and shadow played across his skin. A breeze as gentle as a sigh whispered to him, and he grinned crookedly at the cross expression that still played over his wife’s countenance. Bird song encircled them as they moved further down the path, and eventually he sensed the easing of her tension. His muscles relaxed, and he shortened his stride to match her more leisurely pace.
           In silence, they walked hand-in-hand. Carefully, they picked their way over the trail and eased out of the hard work they’d done all day. So many days, they rushed through obligations and responsibilities. Today, at this single moment, they set aside their toils and troubles, stripped away their stress, and took a simple walk in the woods.

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I lay prone     
           nose to mother earth     
                     a worshipper submitting     
                               passion and passiveness     
                                         flowing into her with each drop of rain     
I roll     
           onto my back   
                               opening up     
                                         matching my heartbeat to the sky’s percussion   

I sit     
           offering my face     
                     to wind and rain     
                               drops melt my sorrows away     
                                         purifying me with the holiest of waters     
I stand     
          with arms outstretched     
                     conducting lightning like a symphony     
                               waves and waves roll over me     
                                         cleansing me of life’s dust and debris   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


         The other day, someone posted on Facebook a photo of Fred Astaire lounging in a chair, relaxing by a humongous pile of shoes. I couldn’t help but smile. I immediately passed the photo along and thought blissfully of my love for shoes.


  As a little girl, I had wonderful Baby Jane patent leather shoes for my Sunday best. The white pair I wore from Easter Sunday until September. The black pair came out after Labor Day because you never wear white after Labor Day. I loved these shiny shoes and carefully walked in them to limit the chances of scuff marks along their smooth surfaces. My sister envied these shoes. Her long and very narrow foot made it more expensive for my parents to purchase shoes for her, so she ended up wearing practical loafers or Saddle Oxfords. And like many younger sisters, I found myself longing for her plainer shoes. I loved the black and white practicality of her Oxfords, and when I finally owned a pair of penny loafers of my own, I polished the copper coins to a sheen.
            When I hit fourth and fifth grade, many of my friends wore Converse shoes. I longed to lace my foot up into a high top, but my parents’ limited budget meant I donned plain white tennis shoes purchased at the local Winn’s store. Near the end of junior high, my mother surprised me with these fantastic brown leather boots that climbed almost to my knees. The boots fastened up with a hook-n-eye, and I loved them dearly. Their smart two-inch heels gave me the height I needed since I still stood a little less than five feet. Fortunately, my foot size didn’t change once I hit thirteen.

            In high school, the demands of our dance team meant my parents shifted shoe money to tap shoes and short, white western boots that looked very smart when performing high kick routines. I schlepped around in white tennies again until I discovered huaraches after a trip to across the border. These wonderful sandals looked fantastic with anything from sundresses to swimsuits. They withstood any amount of abuse and still looked good enough for casual wear. I wore my sandals until they fell apart after I started college!

            The long miles I trekked daily while at Texas A&M meant I selected my shoes during college more for comfort than for style. A good pair of running shoes and a pair of soft suede boots the color of caramel carried me through my studies. I didn’t buy any dress shoes until I purchased my wedding sandals—something with thin straps and high heels that cost more than the simple dress I wore.

            Over the years, I’ve indulged my fondness for footwear. Soft green suede pumps, kill-me heels with peek-a-boo toes, black leather boots or purple faux snake skin. Shoes with sequins, little satin bows, or bold and clunky buckles lined up in my closet.

            Since retirement, I’ve pared my pairs. My closet cubby designated for shoes now has empty slots. I tend to grab my black Skechers or a simple sandal if I leave the house. The other day, while getting ready for a wedding, I pulled out some of my favorites and oohed over their clever bows and sexy heels. I’ve decided that I may have to start dressing up a bit, just to get my shoes out of the house once in a while.                 

 Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman