Todd’s Hardware was dust and a monkey—
a real one, on the second floor—
and Mrs. Todd there behind the glass cases.
We stepped over buckets of nails and lawnmowers
to get to the candy counter in the back,
and pointed at the red wax lips,
and Mary Janes,
and straws full of purple sugar.
Said goodbye to Mrs. Todd, she white-faced and silent,
and walked the streets of Beaver,
our teeth sunk hard in the wax,
and big red lips worth kissing.
"Wax Lips" by Cynthia Rylant from Waiting to Waltz. Copyright © 2001 by Cynthia Rylant. Reprinted with permission of the author, whose most recent book of poetry is Ludie’s Life, Harcourt, 2006.
Source: Waiting to Waltz
(Atheneum Publishers, 2001)