Another day, another gift, found at the recycle bin, a collision of glass and exchange of grins, in and out of love in twenty seconds with a dusty dark red t-shirt and crevasse of smile lines, with the cap he tips back on his forehead and tub of bottles resting on his hip. What a pleasure to squint and laugh in the low September sun and just let each other go.
He knows the woman contemplating groceries. She has kept her hair the same shade of beachfront gold. She hides her body as always under loose drapes of grey and blue. A flicker slips across his heart--that night when she mentioned the convent in the same breath as a three a.m. invitation. There were no vows made then or ever.
He is aware of standing mid-aisle and staring back at her for much too long and of her, aware now of his staring. She bursts open like a firecracker and light shines out, enough light to turn the produce aisle lush and leafy--the garden of what should have been their youth, and they the only people anywhere, here.
Young men, in spring
When an old woman looks at you with a curious glint in her eye, know that it comes from light years away. Be gracious in your reflection.
--Editor's Favorite Award, 2015
Carol Reid lives at the north end of Highway 101 and road-trips whenever possible.