My mother drinks over proof Jamaican white rum
through the soles of her feet. Her skin soaks it up like
a sponge absorbs water. She raves that it goes
down much smoother this way with none of that bitter after
taste; no upset stomach to waste a good meal of ackee
Mother adds a handful of pimento seeds to the bottle. She swears
it sharpens the taste of the rum which will help to medicate her pains
away. Still her fingers are bent by that cursed arthritis who
ignores both pimento and rum as it twist her to its will.
Today, my father asks for a bottle of his beloved Appleton Special
Bend. He’s argued with mom for over twenty years, urging her
to let go of that brassy over proof white rum and join his
indulgence of caramel Appleton.
Let the sweet fragrance of orange peel and banana fill your
nostrils, he yells as he pours a quarter of the bottle over his feet.
After ignoring his pleas for two decades, today she agrees. Mom
and dad sit side by side, feet in basins, holding hands as they ward
off stiff fingers and aching backs.
Arlene Antoinette is a writer who enjoys dabbling in poetry, flash fiction, and song lyrics. Additional poetry by Arlene may be found at Foxglove Journal, Cagibi Lit, Better Than Starbucks, Mojave Heart Review, With Painted Words, London Grip, Literary Heist, and Your Daily Poem.