I stop on the long slog up the hill to greet my neighbor,
pulling weeds from a patch of day lilies, her hands in
strong blue rubber gloves
with backs like socks.
We trade hellos and news. Like me, she has commenced a life
past parenthood. Her daughter now makes chocolates in a
most exclusive shop. Makes chocolates in a most exclusive shop,
Miranda does. She is learning the art of making confections while
considering future plans. The daughter is a chocolatier. The boyfriend,
the boyfriend is here. My daughter is a geologist, and grounded
I turn to resume my climb;
I've lost count of my steps, had trod up counting down,
but with a hundred and seven left to mark, away I have walked
with my head full of chocolate,
no sense of rhythm, no sense of time.
Dear God, let me never know the measure of my days.
Then like one eye blinking a casement window opens in the
house I'm passing, and a dark-haired young woman I have never seen
leans from within. She holds a pair of scissors, intent.
She looks at me not,
but cuts one ruby stem, another, and
the window closes behind her. I am past her yard,
and inside her cool curtained living room she arranges flowers in
while I walk home.