Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Clean and muddy fingers (Day 343)

The sky fell upon them, 
sodden underbelly 
a vast, gray filet,
the sea darkening to slate,
churning waters flecked
with saline spittle.

She was in the garden,
kneeling on the grass
with her shears, gathering summer 
into a broad, petal-shaped basket,
which, in colder months,
would serve to carry kindling.

In bloom now: hydrangeas,
lush scoops of periwinkle 
and, her favorite, pink 
the exact shade 
of strawberry ice cream,
bushes sagging, heavy heads 
nodding under their burden.

He stepped through the gate
just as the clouds let go, 
releasing a torrential
exhalation of wind and water,
drenching the turbid world 
in an instant.

Three steps—he was at her side, 
reaching simultaneously for her 
and for the basket’s grip.
Their wet hands met, clean 
and muddy fingers intertwined,

As she rose, squinting at him 
through sheets of rain, smiling,
iron-gray licks of hair 
glued to her cheeks, 
each raindrop seemed to pause, 
silent, suspended.

And he realized that, to him, 
she had never looked more vibrant, 
more beautiful. Joy curled 
and swelled in his veins.
Then, with a whoop of exhilaration,
she took off running, 
toward the house.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six

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