Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Today's Undertaking

There have been other songs
From out these strings
But they came out wrong
Don't be mistaken

But this one comes from
High above

Yeah this one is dedicated to you
- M. Ward

I sit up straight in my chair, straighter than I ever have before. One inch to the right, one slight lean and the day grows a little darker with the pain in my side. Some girl is singing the 551st version of "Stars Fell On Alabama" on the internet radio station. The automatic door in front of my desk slides back and forth. The breeze of mid-day weird-winter-of-the-south flows up and around me. I close my eyes.

You were there. Walking beside me on an Autumn night. We kicked the stones to the side of the road, the seperated asphalt, the tumbled limbs, the leaves colored with warmth and brittle darkness. You turned a bit away, hands deep in the pockets of your coat and swung your face back toward me, long curls of your hair spilling over your face and your smile. It was time for us to turn this way, the friends we had become. We sauntered lane to lane talking of nothing in particular. It was just this aged Fall evening of my youth, framed by the quiet chords in my head.

"Miss?" I look up from my desk. A man stands there, holding a vase full of crimson tulips in his hands. His eyes crinkle half stars into the corners of his forehead. "That's what I'm looking for. A smile. I knew you had one in there somewhere. The lady upstairs didn't want these, so I brought 'em to you. Long as you keep smiling." He sits the square glass vase up on the granite countertop, winks, and walks his slow, weathered gait back to the flower delivery van. Just before he wrestles himself in the driver's side door, he tilts his grey head at me and waves.

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