Friday, February 08, 2013

I remember ...


was written in black ink across
the dark photo in my hands
A black, fine, scripted line
a message in time
slipped carefully under the door

I examined the photo
She stood in the shadows
her hand draped casually over
the back of her upholstered chair

I remember Rosalie well
with her short, dyed, brunette hair
cut into a keen, neat bob
All held back by a dark brown net
Her clear dark, deep blue eyes
her cool crisp voice,

A cutting edge of guttural coarse sounds
escaped from her throat when she spoke
Rosalie was alive and genuine
moving in a world of reflected off-beat colors
She wavered on the border
between blasphemy and refinement
quicker than you could wink an eye

Rosalie was argumentative yet warm
agreeable and loyal
She could be deliberately cruel
and bitchy when she when she chose to be
I suspect it had to do with suffering she'd known

And I do believe she loved me
Rosalie is dead now almost 20 years ago
She was over 65 when I met her
(don't ask me by how much)
they said she died from a stroke caused by her alcoholism

I remember how our paths crossed walking down Broadway
me cramped over in pain and misery
I looked up and saw her staring into my eyes
and recognized her
Every time we passed one another,
we smiled at each other
I make a lot of friends like that
So me and this old lady had a habit
I meet a lot of people like that
one gal told me you're the most smilingist person I could ever wanna meet

This day I walked in pain, bent over, holding my womb
"What's wrong, dear?" she said, questioning me with true concern
She took me to her house and
treated me with naturopathic methods she'd learned at some fancy class
She wrapped me tightly from head to toe in a big iced up towel
then rolled me securely in a blanket of wool
leaving me two hours to chill out my fever
gifting me with the first relief I'd felt in two weeks
I stood straight as a result of Rosalie's remedies

How could I help but love her
with her wide open eager smile
her passions and her jealousies her quick anger
her petty aggravating assaults on any behavior she deemed wrong

Rosalie... her sudden quirks
and eccentricities
her confessions to what
she labeled high class prostitution
and past alcoholic history

I figured she needed to dull her sharp senses
her gall and quick wit
her tender loving ways
I'll remember Rosalie without her photo
for she inhabits the shadows of my heart
her words forever imprinted

I love Joy in the shadows of my mind

© 1994

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