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Rated: E · Poetry · Cultural · #2075679
An old woman keeps to herself.

Old Gabrielle came from France when a good part
of the world knew war, before the space race,
when Hitler reigned.  Thin, white-haired,
five foot tall or thereabouts, she shuns
our society, yes, much like a vampire
shuns a crucifix.  Yet on her kitchen
cupboard doors, she has taped
those pages of Guideposts,
almost as if a righteous
decorator feeding on
on a diet of saintly

And so, this is isolation’s
neighborhood, all right, one
red brick ranch where Gabrielle
abides, hedges overgrown helter-skelter
pawing front windows like verdant hands,
lazy and lost.  Such unkempt growth does not
go unnoticed, though, as caustic comments flow
from neighbors sharp enough to tongue rude,
to heap eye-rolls and scowl Old Gabrielle's
way, like the soot and ash of so many
dark hearts.

For she has heard the ongoing snipes
and prejudice spewed due to her born elsewhere,
the mocking and rancor cast blithely because of
her French accent.  Thus the stay-away, the world
of one, the adamant avoidance of any vis-à-vis
despite people, albeit crass, a holler away,
and despite a neighborhood where folks
mingle and the mailman strides.

Sometimes, though, when winter relents
to the warmth of spring, Old Gabrielle carries
a tray of lemon, rice cakes, boiled yam and poached
eggs to the front porch and enjoys her breakfast,
unconcerned of idle talk and condemning eyes. 
As her light blue robe scrapes the concrete,
she breathes in the pine-scented air
and grins contentedly behind the
privacy of tall hedges.

40 Lines
Writer’s Cramp Winner

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