by Priscilla Atkins
On Mike’s Mom’s side she was an aunt once-
removed. Twice-divorced, lithesome Delores
had boyfriends (manfriends). One time Mike
and her son Dennis played outside. They wanted
Cokes and stuck their noses to the screen door
until Delores, wrapped in a towel, came and
murmured, “We’re not done yet.” Later,
when the man slipped out and they slipped in, Mike
reported that the house smelled uneven.
Once, I was in her car when she drove me
home from somewhere. Delores’s car was dark blue
with white bucket seats. It smelled like icebox roses.
She wore a pair of elbow-length gloves. So Barbie
or Tressy. The age where every window is a mirror
you see yourself in.
Originally from the Midwest, Priscilla Atkins has lived in
Northampton, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. She earned her MFA
in creative writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky,
and currently teaches women’s studies and a first-year seminar on
comedy. Her poems have appeared in Poetry London, Prairie
Schooner, The Los Angeles Review, Salmagundi, and other
journals and anthologies.
“Delores” is about a real woman whom I probably glimpsed
four or five times when I was a young adolescent. And wearing
the long gloves, she did drive me home from somewhere once.
Delores was from a world that my fourteen-year-old self found
simultaneously unnerving and seductive as hell. I’ve never
actually worn elbow-length gloves, but I’ve thought about it.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 8, Number 1
Copyright © 2013
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors