Katie and Tulips

“She’s like some dancer”, I think to myself, watching her step through her screen door and out onto the concrete porch, holding a mug in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Sheathed in black leggings and a tank-top, she is long and tall and her legs are like those of a marionette, bending under her as she ambles and lopes across the yard.  Arms, extending from her sides in easy gestures, the flicking of an ash and the setting-down of a coffee cup are like dreamy fluid moves that mesmerize in a dance.

She’s begun digging in her front yard, working the dirt of some flower beds.  Turning over soil and readying it for tulip bulbs (150 of them) that will bloom in March, magnificent and tall and red and proud and crowded… just as tulips should.

I watch her for awhile.  Quietly working, solid and soundly making things nice.  She chatters back and forth with the birds and soothes her dogs as they warn and alert at foreign sounds in the afternoon.

Later, after the tulips have bloomed, and I call across the street to admire them, she’ll tell me she that worked hard.  She’ll also add (with little-girl sweetness) that she hopes to have flowers blooming all season long.  As I nod and agree in encouragement I smile to myself and feel comforted at having chatted with her about her tulips.  I nod and agree with myself that she’s the kind of friendly that assures you that friendly still exists.


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