The Voice Issue 29: May/June 2017 - Page 16

16

Her Vertebrae Serve as Stepping Stones

She sits with eyes wide,

and her smile wider.

She laughs with coffee cup in hand,

and a thumb dancing over

smooth ceramic erratically.

Her eyes sparkle with life

as she fights to keep her teeth exposed

and her eyes dry.

She knows the earth will spin

regardless of how hard she tries

to catch sand in one half

of the hourglass.

She knows people will live

with her or without her

at their side,

because the world doesn't

surround her,

and people craft

their own stories.

It scares her,

being forgotten.

But she cherishes

the smiles of those around her

and she doesn't mind.

She holds them close

to her beating heart

until they fly away,

like a robin

carefully cared for

and tenderly loved.

Perhaps,

she is a stepping stone,

allowing friends to grow

and then to move on.

Perhaps

that is it.

But, for her,

that's her life.

She will continue to sit

on the worn and faded sofa

and she will continue to make extra coffee

and she will continue to smile,

for she has accepted this.

She knows that the sands of time

slowly eat away at the strongest stone.

And she has accepted

that it slips between her fingers.

But she will open her arms

to everyone

and walk to the ends of the earth

for them.

She expects nothing in return.

Face down,

she gives the clothes off of her back

and laughs as she feels

featherlight footsteps

tickling her spine,

leaving her in solitude

once more.

She stands up,

dries her eyes,

and brews coffee,

once more,

with just enough for two,

and she sits and waits

with the brightest smile.

- Drift, St. Albans, VT