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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