• Cate Graves

The Old, Old Woman Next Door

The old, old, woman next door,

she is very old.

At least that is the word on this summer green quiet street.

Here in late spring it is evening.

The young, young children on the other side of this pink house

play loudly in the dirt,

punctuating life with exuberant, bursting sounds.

Dirt cracking, a sibling fight,

loud, effortless whining,

alongside two parents who nurse and tend

to the day’s end beside a crackling grill.

But her,

What about her?

Her house is so quiet it almost disappears

into these daily scenes.

It’s like a yellow square block of silence.

No doors opening, not even closing really.

I sit and drink red wine next to a green lighter,

and the leaves are even brighter on this late evening in the spring.

I sit on old an old rusted patio chair,

metal and pink,

a  grandma's chair,

with metal roses and metal spirals and metal pointy feet.

This chair may have been made the year she was born.

I wonder,

What does an old, old mouth taste like?

What will my old mouth taste like?

Metal? Does it still enjoy summer tomatoes?

They will be here soon enough.

But what does soon enough mean really?

A visitor?

A breath?

Does she still look out the window?

Can she see me sitting here next door,

so cavelier in my thoughts?

Does she want a hug?

Does she hate death?

Does she want a letter?

A filet of some sort?

The leaves dance on the fence  between us.

How joyous they look, how easily they sway on this late spring night,

in the green, green yard,

next to the quiet yellow house.


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