The Gals

My mother stands at the kitchen window in a worn chenille housecoat and bunny slippers watching Uncle Roscoe hang up laundry on the clothesline next door. She lights a Chesterfield. Her ritual is to take a long drag, pick the tobacco off of her tongue, then blow out a small gray cloud. She’s fond of saying that if she liked cigarettes any better, she’d eat the goddamned things.