By way of a cracked sidewalk in Winston-Salem

The old lady in the grand house
used to dole out little candies
which seemed most special
because they were small, infrequent,
and welcome to a lonely little girl.
I remember sitting quietly and chatting,
feeling lifted by her elegance and wondering
why she was so alone
amid her gleaming floors and fancy piano.
It was shadowy inside even on a sunny day.
Somehow I imagined this woman
an eccentric mystery I would one day solve.

There have been times I have felt
so damn empty as a grownup,
I take big handfuls of those candies
and aside from a few moments
of delight, am still empty afterwards
-and a little bit alone. It occurs to me
I am diluting a pure memory
by the sheer volume of comfort I seek.
And it occurs to me that not only is she
still a mystery, but I am on my way
to becoming an eccentric old lady too,
full of stories and candy to share.

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