I saw Love the other day.
She was walking to the store.
Her hair was brushed back into eight thick plaits,
pinned & hidden beneath a baseball cap,
her graying temples peeking out.
Her lips were as dark brown as her face,
the whites of her eyes were slightly yellowed,
the wrinkles profound around her mouth and eyes,
her smile as wide as her hips.
Her reusable grocery tote rested limply on her shoulder,
and she was wearing a threadbare T-shirt with some faded slogan
and jeans (distressed in the thigh from the chafing)
that stopped an inch short of her comfortable weather- worn shopping shoes.
I stare at her as she walks into the store my eyes wide,
wondering where the accustomed adornments are.
Maybe a bow and arrow, a heart shaped candy box, Jesus sandals and a tunic,
a trail of flowers and butterflies? Something?
Shoot, a name tag?
My eyes dart from her, to the people who pass her by, back to her, and back to them.
Everyone is missing her!
She should be doing something... important.
But rather, I watch as she bites her lip, thoughtfully calculating the price per ounce.
She gently squeezes tomatoes and avocados for freshness before placing them into those plastic sleeves.
She casually smells each and every candle in aisle 14, more than once, but decides against buying one.
I watch as she leaves the grocery and strolls to the corner gas station.
She gets a couple lottery scratch offs, using her chipped thumb nail to reveal no prize .
She shrugs and adjusts her now full tote.
I watch as she wanders down the street, peering in store windows
with no intention of buying the items that she points out to her invisible companion.
Soon, she walks to the park where I sit.
I’m dizzy from the various disappointments of the day-to-day pushing further into my gut.
Her scent of lavender oil and midday sweat wafts over me
as she takes her bag off her shoulder and sits beside me,
she recognizes my dizziness.
Love grabs my hand, strokes my palm and whispers,
“it is well, it is well.”