Old friends/neighbors appear on the other side of the cemetery fence. She’s wearing shoes with a hole in one heel and steps carefully through the patchy snow that remains. In the thin late afternoon sunlight, I’m in the brown garden, searching for nubs of green, an elbow of garlic, a toe of daffodil. It’s been so long since I’ve seen these people, in that long ago time known forever now to us as pre-pandemic, that I need a moment to determine, yes, yes.

We are all three of us worse for wear, but they dive right in, talking about my house and the wood piles, the forsythia I planted that’s sprung crazy, the picnic table beside the apple tree. Things have happened here. Life has gone on.

He leans on the fence where my youngest tied a pink strip of old t-shirt years ago, marking where she and a friend planted a time capsule. What’s in there I can no longer recall, and likely she can’t, either.

Six years ago, in April, I decided to move into this house. No one was living here then. I leaped over the fence and tore a hole in the back of my leggings. I headed to work afterwards, and the kids teased me. What have you been doing? That April was a warm one, too. I leaned against the house and studied the declination of sunlight as I guessed it would rise.

As we talk, the wind picks up. The robins are ecstatic in the neighbors’ maples, really belting out their songs. Overhead, the turkey vultures float, eyeing us. We keep talking, tossing at each other, “remember this? remember this?” Oh laughter….

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing…
— Galway Kinnell

9 thoughts on “Talking.

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