When the River Went Away – Part II – The Wind

A skylight guides the sun across a solitary houseplant,
Sitting high, leaves perched,
For another filtered afternoon.

Her pale, bony hands,
Long fingers fidgeting, waiting,
Don’t notice how they play in the light.
.
Outside, a cold, dry wind whirls up dust,
Roadside greetings on the edge of town.

Across the street, dry leaves
Scattered in crackling waves
Erase any hope summer might linger here.
.
A couple trails the sidewalk,
Clutching bags, heads down,
Maybe mustering the courage,
thinking they can catch sail
And pass over the ridge
One at a time.
.
Away from the leaves,
behind the shriveled mass of a car
Unmoving for months,
A dog lies in the dirt.
.
Sitting along the storefront, the cheapsters,
Puppeteers of badness, now wilting and fading,
Propped up briefly by a cigarette passed amongst them,
Go on thinking the game is still on,
Though their eyes are hollow,
Echoing the wind.
.
Soon the skylight will recount her life,
Moving across the far wall,
Framed in awkward moments,
That never really happened that way.
A draping cobweb catches the light
Almost like it could connect the story.
Dust floats and sparkles,
Airy reflections of illumed times.

That brief light.
.
Her fingers set onto the dishes now
Hot soapy water,
Cold sunshine pouring through a kitchen window,
A plate, a bowl, dinner, breakfast and snack
All passing through shiny, wet fingers,

Those fingers,
Still deft in their movement,
Still alive with song, and the stories
Her gesturing hands could tell.
.

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