Show me Old, if you can, in that lady on the bench.
Don’t give me a number or the hunch of her shoulders,
skin like crepe. I’m talking about her:
the breath who brought her bones to the park;
the one whose face turns to yours, eyes engaging
as you greet her this morning beneath the oak.
She’s the shift in position, making room on the bench
for the flow to begin: words strung together,
momentum picking up, until the body disappears
and all you see is what you hear—
flamenco in her voice, precision
in the points she makes, some that swirl you gently
in their grip, others more insistent
like heels clicking the floor. Where is old?
In her pause to peel an orange
or pull chocolate from a bag?
In the men she’s loved and lost?
The more I look for old, the younger she becomes.
She’s simply had more time to climb
and fall. More fabric torn,
more holes to patch.
© by Lori Levy.
Used with the author’s permission.