She has made them beds.
Beds of hay sporadically placed
in the ragged green pasture.
Pallets, really. Some say
she once lived north of here
had a high falutin’, high payin’ job.
Now she wears yellow rubber gloves,
like the ones I wear to clean the bathroom,
and there’s a turban of sorts on her head.
They say she’s the richest lady in the county.
Sometimes on a soft summer’s night
I see her truck on the property line
and in the air I can feel her presence
as she soothes those she loves so much.
She has spoken to me once: One cow
is worth ten good neighbors.
Ms. Callie is like a perfumed sparrow,
tiny and fragile in dress slacks,
the seam straight and pressed,
her sweater a matching shade of green.
When I hug her hello I’m afraid she will topple
under the weight of my slender arms.
At 80 her hair is coiffed and teased
and she’s just short of five feet,
only a head taller than my son, Luke.
We are visiting Angie, her daughter, (my friend)
and after talking and laughing over Oolong tea
we realize that my 7-year old has vanished—
he’s not in the guest room with the TV,
nor is he chasing the many cats around the house.
His drawing pad lies abandoned on the floor.
In the distance we hear a soft song of sorts
and are drawn to it, only to find him
on Ms. Callie’s bed, stretched out,
his head propped against the footboard,
conversing with her on the possibility of snow.
Ants raid the bath, wasps claim the washroom,
even as the cool of winter looms.
The forsythia sings against a chorus
of green, yet the hue of winter looms.
The bunting’s a blur of vibrant blue,
off-setting winter’s gray loom.
Calves nurse in the open field, chilled
as the nip of winter looms.
Blood buds of azaleas burst forth
even though winter looms.
The creek hums a rain-filled song,
oblivious to the winter that looms.
Rosemary, thyme, and sage grow
in the sunroom, even as winter looms.