Poems & Essays

15 Aug

Granny Hates Bare Feet

General/Column No Response

Granny’s putting paper on the seat so I can sit down and not “catch germs.” I point wordlessly at the feet planted in the stall next to us. Granny bends to look, holding streamers of toilet paper. The feet are bare and dirty-looking, attached to sturdy calves and cutoffs.

Granny hates bare feet.

Granny, orphaned at thirteen, was married off to a man who took her shoes and hitched her to his plough. Contact with her six siblings forbidden, she waited a year until neighbors noticed her sickly pallor, suspected hookworm anemia, and helped her escape. No divorce, no annulment.


Born and raised in Detroit, Michelle Riddell now lives with her family in rural mid-Michigan where she happily braves her husband’s penchant for DIY projects and her daughter’s passion for wildlife-as-indoor-pets. Her publishing credits include Sammiches and Psych Meds, Mamalode, The Good Mother Project, and Club Mid. In addition to being a reviewing editor at Mothers Always Write, Michelle is a substitute teacher at her daughter’s elementary school where she tries very hard not to embarrass her. Find her on Twitter @MLRiddell.



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