“Gladys was a hefty Puerto Rican” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 7, 2019
5 minutes
Anything For Love
Ruth L. Schwartz

In this dress she wore, she swore she
would not conform to the pressure of
being beautiful like this or that as
if some magazine might be the deciding

Gladys in her big swooshy dress, covering
the curves and equalizing the line that
leads her all the way down to the floor
and back up again. She stood tall.
She wore the bright pink like a medallion
to ward off the evil eye.
The evil kind of eye that keeps a person

My baby, Indie used to hide underneath it
and count the love on her kneecaps with
slobbery kisses and giggles.
Gladys let her and only her go under,
see what was beneath the fabric.
She liked the love adding up on the
tongue of two year old on a mission.

This is the way she felt beautiful.

When Gladys came by the house she would
bring us cookies baked from scratch,
her own personal recipe and tell us
if we didn’t eat them she would eat
them and what kind of friends let friends
lose track of fallen crumbs.

“Gladys was a hefty Puerto Rican” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 7, 2019
5 minutes
Anything For Love
Ruth L. Schwartz

Gladys makes soup with whatever is left in the crispers of her fridge. A shrivelled rutabaga, three wrinkled carrots, half a browning cauliflower, onion, turmeric, garlic. She’ll add kale, chard and cilantro at the end. It’s Monday. Finally the house is quiet. Finally there is no one asking her questions, asking her for help, asking her for something to drink. Gladys savours Mondays like others savour Fridays. Martinez leaves by six, the boys are on the curb waiting for the school bus at seven forty five, and even Eartha, the old ginger cat, is out on the front lawn lying in the sun.