Voices on the Wind
Voices on Waiting
by Laura Grace Weldon
Curled over his walker
an old man shuffles,
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.