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18. this woman


she wonders about her own luck, what the future
masked in financial pitfalls and an uncertain
self could unveil.  bills are crumpled on the 
nightstand, covered with penned calculations.
she strives to chart this world while sensing
conquerors from all sides.  yet she folds
origami birds from the paper of her glass
bottle at a cafe table, to the fortune of
those coming after her.

her compassion is such that she notices bird
cries at an outdoor cafe, not as nature, but as
hungry solicitors.  as if feeding a restless
babe, she casually rips off bits of her almond 
muffin to scatter on the cobbled street.  but she 
relates to strangers to be wary of her, for 
"i seem nice at first glance, but i'm rather
inconsiderate at heart."

she is often afraid, of her own dreams, it seems.  for
sixteen months she's been planning an escape from her
hectic, harried days of waking at nine and sleeping
at four in the morning, researching, working, and 
studying.  "i need to get a different job, maybe 
take a long vacation."  then she continues, thinking 
of others.  "what about my boss, my coworkers?  i 
need to finish this project, at least."  her smile
is often pale, like a cloud in midwinter.  but
beneath her scarf of fragility is a formidable
endurance like the draft horse.

she doubts her own goodness, feeling inadequate.
she often apologizes for small accidents, "oh,
i'm so sorry!  i must be stupid."  or asks
if she's been bothersome or dissatisfactory.
but she brings hot tea in the mornings of her own 
will, and sprinkles little kisses like a spring
shower.  her fidelity is a still stone on a
rocky summit, and her arms are the warmth
of a hearthfire.

so that to say: i love her, is not
a fanfare of spring flowers bursting with
celebration; but instead, a quiet affirmation of
the sun's existence.



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