*after Dick Laurie

By Janice S. Fuller

How do I forgive the passage of years,
the melancholy of reminders
as I sit in Starbucks writing.

Businessmen do deals,
tutors teach their students,
nurses study for exams,
loners treasure time alone.
Espresso squirts a whssssh!
Adele serenades us. Laughter, squeals
of babies rocked in car seats by their mothers.
Doors slam.

Suddenly I’m disoriented at my place in time,
I think I’m 25 or 35, expect to see
a beautiful young guy stare,
smile, raise eyebrows, give a slight wave.

The slap of 69 years hits me solidly,
an open hand across my face.
The thinning skin, wrinkles,
age spots on my cheeks,
my mother’s sagging neck.

But wait!
My gaze connects with Mr. Greyhair.
Slim, confident, at ease as he orders
a steaming hot latte and picks
the table next to mine.

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