I know, I look a little peculiar:
Leggings, sweatshirt, baseball cap-
(That’s the acceptable part)
Headlamp, fanny pack, walking stick
(that’s the peculiar part)
I’m not in the woods, after all,
I am finishing my morning walk in suburbia.
But I started out before the sun was up and so:
Headlamp to see.
Fanny pack to carry my water and phone
Walking stick to beat off goblins in the dark should they assail me.
Today I turn 64.
The 60s are a strange time for women.
It feels like the invisible decade-
between active professional
kindly soft grandma.
I round the bend,
now in full daylight,
and see the girl.
She’s about 13 or 14,
standing at the end of her driveway waiting for the bus.
She has colt-like legs and big knees, all visible because on this chilly fall day she is wearing shorts. Short shorts.
Her long chestnut hair, brushed all shiny, falls in front of her face.
She looks down, her eyes trained on her phone.
Her thumbs are madly texting.
I don’t know if she sees me.
She’s very busy.
But she may be texting,
“The crazy lady from the neighborhood is walking by.”
I want to say,
“Young woman, lift your head.
There is a whole wonderful life ahead of you.”
There is great promise.