Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Lady Next Door

Thin flakes of the sweetest chocolate paint
curled invitingly from the door trim
belonging to a neighbor who would faint
when I pretended to be eating them.

She planted flowers with strange leaves—like hearts—
on either side of the gas meter. She
had me collect their seeds in olive jars
because I said they looked like bombs to me.

Her yard was where I saw my first eclipse.
We gathered to observe it on the lawn.
Before one word of wonder reached my lips,
the birds stopped singing and the sun was gone.

Although I knew that the darkness would pass,
I was glad grandmother gripped my hand.
Why teacher said, “Don’t be afraid,” in class,
she said she would never understand.

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