Voices on the Wind Voices on Waiting
Ruth by Laura Grace Weldon Curled over his walker an old man shuffles, shoes slowly ironing the pavement. His skin is folded by years made of mornings where waking was taken for granted, toast popping up ready for whatever might spread across the day's waiting surface. He slurped milk delivered by horse-drawn cart. His mother rejoiced as women won the vote. He's witnessing still. Ruth won't grow old, won't see her daughters find love or swell into motherhood. She reminds friends to see 100 shades of spring's green while around her we rage and cry. She wakes before dawn each day and holds her beloved, the man who found her after 30 years apart. Time now a bright brittle leaf drifting toward the ground. Last night in my dream, Ruth and I tied our shoes tight as resolve, ready to climb a mountain. Even asleep I knew she ascends alone. Walking this sidewalk, head down, feet scuffling, I study what the old man sees. How rock cut into paving stones reflects light from a thousand glittering flecks. How seeds dropped by birds sprout into sturdy tendrils between the cracks. How slow the pace of awe that any of us are here at all.