Feeling the Weight of Time
Today I’m feeling the weight of time.
I glimpsed myself in the bank’s overhead monitor
and saw not an older woman with graying roots
and eyebrows in bad need of waxing
but a younger version with two
dark brown ponytails at a family picnic,
remembered trail rides on a summer afternoon
and snorkeling around Buck Island over 30 years ago.
Yesterday we bought America The Beautiful
senior passes, good for a life-time.
(They offered—we didn’t ask.)
We could have shared one,
but they were only $10 apiece, so we got two,
doubled our lives.
Last night at Lester’s Diner, in the third booth,
an older woman was eating fried chicken.
She was alone, but I noticed the thin silver ring
on the fourth finger of her left hand.
I told D I admired that she braved
the traffic alone while I’m still
anxious in the light.
She twisted in her seat to better see
the commotion outside her window.
The rest of us were curious but continued
eating our spinach pies and rice puddings.
Three police cars had stopped,
blue lights strobing.
Then an ambulance sirened past,
made a U-turn on Atlantic and
parked in front of the diner.
A waitress stepped outside and returned
to tell us all a woman was on the ground,
hit by a car in the intersection.
None of us heard a sound.
We paid our bill and left the back way.
Later I told D how, when I lined up his shoes
in the closet that morning
—the dress loafers in black and brown,
the gray flip-flops that slap against his feet
and drive me crazy—
I told him how for some reason it struck me then
that one of us would be left alone.
He said he hoped it’s not him because
those few months when we were apart were enough.
Then he removed the wall clock that had slowed
and turned its hands ahead.