Back Then, the Young Woman Across the Street.
Back Then, the Young Woman Across the Street
must've been in her mid-30s. She was
overweight, still living with her parents.
In winter she shoveled the walk and driveway,
puffing heavy white breaths. In spring
and summer into fall, she mowed the lawn
and washed and waxed her red sports car.
And practiced her golf swing, which I envied.
The confident, upright posture, the steadiness,
the surprising grace and ease of the club lifting,
the relaxed balance on both feet, the sweep
of the club-head and follow-through
(always correctly keeping her head down),
and the imagined ball rising high over the lawn
and street and away. Sometimes, decades later,
sitting quietly on a red folding chair, as a timer
ticks on a nearby bookshelf, keeping my spine
straight, my head tipped slightly downward,
eyes closed, there it is--the thought of her--
rising inside the moment it takes to swing
a golf club, and then it's gone, and there's
only the breathing, or the ticking.