The Olde Curiosity Shoppe of our Lives
We are creatures.
Creatures of marvelous, glorious habit.
We find a moment, a day, a year….
some little slice of time out-of-time,
and hold it to ourselves,
as if, somehow, we could stay time
in its inevitable course.
It shimmers, pristine oasis of light,
at the edges of our mind,
at the edges of our eye…..
I could have done quite nicely without them.
Well, perhaps not, for here they are,
tucked safe in a darkened pocket of my bag.
Strange, isn't it, the things one wants.
The things one must have.
I try them on, again, when I am home.
I surely do not need glasses.
All right, I do need glasses.
Just not another pair, and a broken-down pair at that.
It's cool today, that odd transitional weather between
summer-waiting-for-fall-hinting-of-winter-to-come. The sky is
pearl and yet sullen with the dying heat of the sun.
I think I should look at the garden…..see how the antique roses are
doing there in the southwest corner. And the hydrangeas, the
ragged-purple-and-cream ones the gardener transplanted just last week.
Perhaps I will cut a bridal-bouquet of them for the hall table.
It is very quiet in the ordered garden. Quiet and unbearably hot,
despite the high clouds. 'Earthquake weather', I think, and touch
the brass shears I use to separate the soft stems of flowers from their
lives. Sweat tickles at my ear. The glasses, which somehow
I have not thought to remove, lie at the end of my nose.
Something moves, swift yet liquid-slow, at the edge of my vision.
Reality and time still around me. I feel my heart beating in my throat, feel sudden tears lying upon my cheeks.
How long? How long since I have seen him?
Fierce joy runs through me. And confusion, tangled with thoughts
beyond reason. I do not want to know how he is here, or
why. I am only glad (glad?! as if words could capture my
joy) that he is.
My legs somehow find the strength to rise from where I kneel. I
remember to brush the earth from my hands, though I don't suppose
he would mind having a dirt-streak across his summer-expectant
If possible, the days stills yet more. I feel each breath as it
leaves me, hear each pulse of my heart, slow and sad and heavy, in my
There is no one
Only the hedge that divides the garden from the dust of the road, and
the stout roundness of a pot, over-filled with maiden-hair.
Reality shifts and stills again.
Did you know that tears can feel like knives, knives within your heart, before they fall?
They can, they do.
I sit down, hard, upon the heat-dimmed wheat of dead grass.
After a time, I can see……I can feel again.
There is blood, tiny droplets, like crimson'd tea-rose petals, lying upon the gold of the grass.
Crushed tight within my hand, cutting into my palm, the broken glasses lie.
I could have done quite nicely, I do think, without them.