Afro Poetry Times



Her blue eyes grew thoughtful. “There’s a lovely shell top and skirt in one of my magazines. That’d look lovely in this floral.”

Then she added, “That reminds me. Victoria left her new jeans on the sewing table. She wondered if you’d mind taking up the hems. She’s marked them with pins.”

Is that before or after I cook dinner, Victoria?

No wonder my cousin was such a success in her career. She’d certainly mastered the art of delegation. And I probably wouldn’t get a refund on my grocery bill either.

I took out my frustratio­n on the onion and turned to the sink so Grace wouldn’t see the expression on my face. But I’d underestim­ated her. “I’m sorry about Victoria,” she said. “She’s always expected a lot from you, hasn’t she? Without giving much in return.”

“I’ll do the jeans for her tonight. It’s your birthday. Let’s make it a good evening.”

I started to gently sauté the pieces of duck.

When I turned to check the recipe, Grace was still fingering the linen. “I’d like to give you my sewing machine. It’s not like the new computeris­ed ones, and can’t do any fancy stitches, but it’s always been reliable.”

“That’s a wonderful offer but I couldn’t let you,” I said. “Even if you can’t use it, you still enjoy having it around, don’t you?”

Her eyes moistened. “I guess I’d miss it. But I do want you to have it. I’ll leave it to you in my will.”

Before I could say anything else, a car pulled up outside.

“Something smells good,” Victoria said moments later, throwing her briefcase on the floor inside the door.

“What kept you so late?” Grace asked. It was already seven o’clock.

“I decided to have a manicure in my lunch hour and ended up having a facial as well. They had a special deal.” She held up her lacquered nails for us to admire. “I spent the afternoon catching up on my work.”

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