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Gray Lady

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There's an old woman
sitting in front of my house.

With gray skin and

gray hair and
all the sadness anybody ever knew
reflected in her
gray gray eyes.
She's got a million layers of
worn out
full of holes
filthy ugly clothing
that someone somewhere threw out
because it wasn't good enough for them
but it's good enough for her.
She's got a big cloth bag
with all her worldly possessions
huddled inside
as if even they
were hiding from the col.
She doesn't move when I walk past her.
Doesn't flinch when the red mustang comes
speeding by
and drenches her in
wet brown snow.
She merely heaves a sigh,
and pulls out a little pink notebook
with paper flowers clumsily stapled to the cover
and starts to draw the willow tree
that drapes itself across my neighbor's fence
and cries softly into the rhododendron bushes.
When she is done drawing the tree
with her almost flat pencil only half an inch long
she puts her supplies back in her bag
and rests her cheek in her hand
and her elbow on her knee
and once again she sighs,
long and low,
like she is sadder than she's ever been.
I make it up to my house
and put my key in the lock
and I turn the key,
and the door creaks open,
but I glance back
at the freezing gray lady
sitting in front of my house.
So I go up
and I rest a hand on her shoulder
and ask her if she would like
to come inside.





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