Josephine Fell
jo-1
THE PAPERS
I had returned that day-from drawing up papers at a lawyer's office for a divorce. 'Now a frightening step lay ahead of me. I must tell my husband what I had done. It was afternoon and I was alone in the. big farm house. Jim would arrive home at 5:30. I walked the floors and thought of how over the years, I had learned to say the right thing and in the right way so his volatile temper would not explode and put my life at risk. There was no easy or delicate way to say what I had to say. I had three children yet to get thru school. I must not be injured or killed. I studied the position of the doors for easy and quick escape. I knew which door he would enter the house. He would pass thru the dinning room to his study. So--I would tell him in the dinning room I put all the leaves in the table to make it as long as possible. I would say the works when he was at one end. I would be at the other. I watched the clock and waited. I walked the floors and waited. I ate all the left-overs from lunch and waited. I tried to write a letter but my hand shook and my stomach burned. Then his car came in the drive way. I positioned myself at the end of the table. The front door opened and he entered. At precisely the moment he was passing by the other end of the long table, I said,," Jim, I signed papers' today for a divorce." He stopped and looked at me. I studied his face intensely for the first sign of an explosion. We looked at each other. The moment passed and there was no anger----only tears.

THE PILLS
Ann counted out the pills for her husband. The pills that kept him alive. That very day she found him standing three blocks from home, muscles frozen, unable to move or talk. He walked away without her knowing it. She saw fear in his eyes and then relief to have been found. She took this kind and gentle man by the arm and led him home. Seventy-five years old and. the doctor said he could live many years yet with the pills. Her back ached from lifting his heavy frame to a sitting position each morning. This morning he had been wet as usual. The bed must be stripped--the third time this week:

Ann counted out the pills. It has been fifteen years of this being kept alive by these pills. It would soon be time to clean out his bowels. The medication kept him alive but also constipated him . It wasn't a matter of just removing the plug. She had to go in his rectum and pull it all out. It always surprised her what a huge pile there was and the odor was overwhelming.

Ann counted out the pills that kept him alive. With thee pills in her hand she started toward Bill. Her steps slowed as she approached the back of his chair. Then she stopped. She brought the hand that held the pills up closer to her face. She looked at them. The pills that kept him alive.

The pills ! That she could...


IN THE MIRROR
I just had my hair cut. Without asking me just zipped right down there and cut wild hairs in my eyebrows. So -there are things I can't see. My hearing isn't so good either. The blue veins on my hands stick out and make quite a pattern as they meander up the arm. The face in the mirror is a shock. My skin is blotched with spots of some sort. The nose is red like an alcoholic except this is from cold sores that are always sort of there. The lower lip is dry and slightly swollen from medication. The eye brows are moth eaten. The floppy piece of skin from the chin to the breastbone now has a companion. Where did the hair on my head go ? Oh -there it is -- on my chin .

MARCH ONLY
It was a sea of women marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. : Women dressed in white to honor their foremothers who had worn long white dresses when they were marching one hundred years ago for the right to vote. There were a few men,. some pushing baby buggies, marching in support of the women. The air was electrified with the common belief that women had the right to own their own bodies, not to be controlled by any government: Women who have the human right to their own autonomy, to earn their own living and to develop their own talents.

The day was hot and the long white dress I had made especially for the occasion didn't let in much air. I could feel my face getting red from the sun but --never mind--MARCH ONLY
These were modem women today, in white.
the color of unity and courage. Songs were being sung by pockets of people all up the long Avenue. One song swelled up around me.

We are gentle loving people and we are singing, singing for our lives.
We are gay and straight together and we are singing, singing for our lives.


IN THE TOWER CIRCA 1931
Eeny Meeny Miney Mo.
To the tower we did go.
A boy and girl just five or so.

To the tower where spiders dine.
Show me yours, and I'll show you mine.

Little children up we did go.
To see the world, eager to know.

Here alone where the cobwebs shine.
Show me yours and I'll show you mine.

Then up the stairs came a loud shrill.
It shook our nerves, we froze stark still.

CHILDREN, COME RIGHT DOWN HERE AT ONCE !

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo Not today will it be so.