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To Be Old Like Uma MAG
On the terrace with the old lady.
What wild irises, colored purple-brown!
Uma studied the ground for ladybugs;
she thought they were magnificent
like one would think a rare gem.
Summer’s weak sighs combed through
that fine silvery hair, lopped to one side
of her skull and fashioned with a plastic
butterfly. I talked at her of things like
new babies and weddings and funerals,
and when she smiled at me it was politely.
I could not know –– for I was young ––
that faces bobbed in the snowy whipped clouds
or that delicate voices sifted through the trees
or that sweetly pink childhood
had found its way back to her,
bearing all its simple pleasures.
Uma’s twisted lips puttered quietly,
and now and then a giggle would shake her ancient bones,
and I would be warmed with pity
But for whom?