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 tank-top, she is long and tall and her legs are like those of a marionette, bending as she ambles and lopes across the yard.  Her arms extend from her sides in easy fluid gestures. Waving and smooth they make the ordinariness of setting down a coffee cup, or,  flicking the ash of a cigarette look like the moves of a principal dancer. 

She is digging in the front yard, working the dirt of flower beds.  She turns over the soil and readies  it to be a womb for bulbs. In March there will be tulips, magnificent and tall and red and proud and crowded… just as tulips should be.

I watch her for awhile.  Quietly working, solid and soundly making things nice.  She chatters back and forth with the birds, and cooes to her doggs– soothing them as the woof and alert her to foreign sounds in the neighborhood.

Later on, after the tulips have bloomed, and I call across the street to admire them, she’ll tell me she that worked hard planting. She’ll also tell me that she hopes to have flowers blooming all season long, hopeful like a little girl who hopes to make new friends. And after she’s moved on and months have passed and she is no longer living there with her dogs, or tending her bulbs in their earthy womb, I’ll remember her and her easy friendliness and know quite certainly, that she was rare. 


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