Sleetmagazine.com

Volume 14 • Number 1 • Spring-Summer 2022

Mary Lewis

Hula Girl

For years she had the place of honor on the dusty dashboard of our old Saturn wagon, the one with a bad muffler and 200,000 miles. Her left arm fell off weeks ago and lay next to her in the grime. But one day I decided to wash the car and went as far as wiping things down inside, so I needed to move her. Duct taped by her feet to the dash, it was more a peel than a lift, but she did come up, shedding yellow filaments of her “grass” skirt, so many I made a decision, she would no longer be allowed to shed on the newly cleaned car. I tucked the arm into the glove compartment and placed her on the steps up to the garage door, so Clark would see her, realize I wasn’t dumping her, just changing locations. Hoping he would agree to let her be in yet another location, the garbage can.

It was not to be. When he discovered her there, and I explained about her shedding, he was OK with the expulsion from the Saturn, but wanted to know where her arm was. In the glove compartment I said, feeling pretty good I could tell him that. This is a matter of trust. I never throw out something of his, even dislocated limbs.

I thought he’d put her in the garage or the basement, but this afternoon there she was on the kitchen table, for me to see every day, not just when I’m in the car. She’s still shedding.

Mary Lewis has published stories and essays in journals including Superstition Review, The Woven Tale Press, r.kv.r.y. quarterly, Persimmon Tree, The Spadina Literary Review, Toasted Cheese, RiverSedge, Lost Lake Folk Opera Magazine, Trapeze, Valley Voice, Wapsipinicon Almanac, and a story collection, Frank Walsh’s Kitchen and Other Stories. She has an MFA in creative writing from Augsburg University. She also has an MS in Ecology from the University of Minnesota, and taught for many years in the Biology Department of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.