I open one eye, then the next. I am awake and immediately I summon them forth, my attendants. They are a little bit slower than usual, but still on point. The one that brings something to drink is my favorite. She smells sweet, plus she gives great hugs. Once I let her kiss me on the head. She holds me in her arms, and tickles my belly with her lips. I will keep her.
There are others, a boy and two girls. They are taller than me, but who cares? There are bars between them and me because they shouldn’t be allowed so close to greatness. I am the one and only. There will never be another like me. They come to watch me perform. I oblige because it humors them. It’s how I earned my name. They shout it out as I reach for the clasp at my waist. I so hate this garment. It feels so much better to go about without it. I will have my way! The moment approaches. I unclasp, flinging the offensive garment across the room.
You were first, Josephine Baker, with your banana skirt dance.
But I am Sho Sho, and I dance au naturale sans le Pamper.
Someone sings Sly Stone’s newest, changing the line “Ooh Sha Sha” to “Ooh Sho Sho.”
I tap my foot on the mattress of my crib in time to the clunk of the drum.
Copyright © 2011 Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter
Music suggestion: Everyday People, Sly and the Family Stone