Saving it for Later

Whose afraid of being happy?
A woman who once was gleeful
as a Marmoset dancing a Mambo
to Marimba became afraid of being happy,
Postponing all possible pleasure became a
way of life.

She was as superstitious as a voodoo Haitian princess,ever alert for omens, good or bad, worrying her good fortune might trigger envy. Diplomas were hung in the bathroom, and she wore her diamond ring upside-down. Moments of joy were followed by a magical rigmarole to ward off jealous spirits, a "kenahorra","malocchio", and a knock on wood just in case.
She squirreled away her family heirlooms Sterling silver and baccarat crystal in eaves of an attic,as if she were hearing rumbling horse hoofs of Cossacks threatening a pogrom.
Shoes were hoarded and never worn. Unused boxes of suede gloves and fine French linen and lace languished in closets, Mohair shawls that might have warmed her back on chill winter days never left her dresser drawer. A choice case of Beaujolais forgotten in the basement turned to vinegar. She was saving it all for later
Holiday gifts were never opened. Her pantry looked like a bootleg warehouse in Nigeria. Filled with her favorites: chocolate-covered orange peels, Dromedary dates, Macadamia nuts and Maraschino cherries. She was saving it all for later.
She treasured her old Boffendorfer. Polished every day. But never got around to play. She was saving it for later, but passed away before later ever came.
Milton Ehrlich