835 SOME THINGS JUST DON’T MATTER 5-23-19

Ruth,
with her husband Robert,
were sponcers
at the youth center
in my childhoods neighborhood.
She,
the young mother of
my first girlfriend…
we were all just beginners, really.
But her daughter was
a purposefull kisser
with black, silken hair.

Ruth
and her husband Robert
counsled, cared
and kept in touch
with all of us,
even when I moved away
to college and life and teaching
and the upheaval of a first divorse
and “getting my footing back”.
A call, a card,
a letter now and then
helped along the way.

So,
when I learned,
some months after,
of their divorse,
shocked as I was,
that next weekend
I drove to visit.

Robert,
already remarried,
“Women grieve, Men replace”
Ruth said.
Their daughter,
(my first kiss!)
now a married women,
Ruth anticipating
her first grandchild.
I a footlose,
forth-year teacher
on Summer break.

Ruths
cottage on the Sound
was cozy and sufficient
and she was comfortable
in her newly single, middle-aged life,
and lovely, still, to my
getting older thinking
as she was in my youth,
I remembered.

We talked away the hours.

Ruth
said,
that second evening,
“You kids taught me a truth.
About being free.
But it took a while longer
to sink in with me.
So, here I am!”

She offered salute with
her wine glass
and,
enjoying everything,
now,
giggled like a young girl.

And it dawned on me
how young she’d been,
back then,
and how much older I’d become.

There are moments that don’t obey
the clock-work laws of day-to-day.
Surprises, exploding in the atmosphere.
Unexpected, in every way.

I dozed on the shag rug.
From her couch,
when she woke,
she nudged me with her toes.

“It’s later,” she said.

“But not too..?” I asked.

(Comes the inevitable pause,
the choosing time…
Stay put
or
Forward Ho!”)

“What would my Daughter say?”

“Nothing, if she doesn’t know.”

I don’t think Ruth ever told.

And I discovered
a new line to say:

“Like Daughter, like Mother
with a touch of gray.”

…and three days later,
as I loaded my yellow VW Bug,
(named Woodstock!)
preparing to leave to begin
my forth year of teaching,
all obligatory promises made,
sealed with kisses and such,

Ruth
stepped out to her porch
wrapped in a blue cotton blanket
and not much else,
smiling.

I smiled back.

“I can’t leave with you dressed like that.”

“You won’t”,
she answered,
an order draped in invitation,
a blue blanket dropped on the deck.

I didn’t.

(Oh, come on!
You knew I’d stay!)

Besides,

after the first year of teaching,
faculty meetings
don’t mean all that much,

anyway.

About Ken Greenman

Married and Happy. Retired and busy. Living in NC. 71 and counting. December 12, 2020 and it's 72! ... I would love some written comments, critiques, adulation or kind suggestions.... If you have the time and or inclination, please feel free! Not in fear but by faith. We will see. See you later! If you ever want to talk for real, email me and I will send you my cell number.... I am enjoying this!
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1 Response to 835 SOME THINGS JUST DON’T MATTER 5-23-19

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