Poem by Timothy Steele

I bring Fae flowers. When I cross the street, 
She meets and gives me lemons from her tree. 
As if competitors in a Grand Prix, 
The cars that speed past threaten to defeat 
The sharing of our gardens and our labors. 
Their automotive moral seems to be 
That hell-for-leather traffic makes good neighbors. 

Ten years a widow, standing at her gate, 
She speaks of friends, her cat’s trip to the vet, 
A grandchild’s struggle with the alphabet. 
I conversationally reciprocate 
With talk of work at school, not deep, not meaty. 
Before I leave we study and regret 
Her alley’s newest samples of graffiti.

Then back across with caution: to enjoy 
Fae’s lemons, it’s essential I survive 
Lemons that fellow-Angelenos drive. 
She’s eighty-two; at forty, I’m a boy. 
She waves goodbye to me with her bouquet. 
This place was beanfields back in ’35 
When she moved with her husband to L.A.

Photo: Maine Coon Maniac, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED