Neighborly

So he talked about grass, about mowing with a push mower

and how hard it is to mow under apple trees with their overhanging branches

and the bees, the yellow jackets of July

and how hot the weather had been and if it had rained enough

to keep the gardens growing.

His hat twisting in his hands, feet shifting in black leather work shoes,

his gray shirt and neat green workingman’s pants neatly pressed,

He talked on and on, our coffee getting cold, his food on the diner’s counter

and then we said goodbye and finished our meal. He left before us but came back,

flustered and red, to pay his bill. This man,

our age or older, still uncomfortable in conversation, not knowing

how or if to end it, not knowing what to talk about and so

he spoke of weather and grass and gardens while I remember

his father with his soft felt hat, his bib overalls and sports jacket,

dancing with fast-moving feet, buck-dancing to the bands

at the Fourth of July on the courthouse lawn

just across the street from where our coffee sits cold on the counter

and he forgot to pay for his food.

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About grannysu

storyteller, writer, poet, gardener, countrywoman
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