The sunlight was just right. It was stronger now, warm as it filtered through the leaves fully unfurled on the elm that commanded the grounds behind the home.  When she first came there was a pond beyond it with geese and a bridge and the loveliest water lilies. Since then there had been two residents who drown there and one who was killed in it–murdered was such a terrible, ugly word.  The world was headed downhill fast back when she first found herself here. She watched the news, knew it had gotten only worse. She couldn’t say why exactly. But why would one remember those thongs? Why would the big iron fence with its keypadded gate keep ugliness out of here? If you asked her, the fence seemed to open its arms to embrace ugly.

Still here it was, a splendid spring day. The gates couldn’t keep the beauty out. Sky stretched overhead, studded with puffy lamb’s-wool clouds. Yellow sparkled everywhere, in the sunshine, daffodils, forsythia. Her dress had been squash-blossom yellow, the last time she danced. 

Why Sheryl and Matthew never came to see her, she couldn’t remember, nor what she’d eaten for breakfast. Maybe that was because everything here tasted like saltines. She could remember the last time she’d danced ballet. Not which ballet or where. But she could feel it. She could feel her muscles move by memory, hear the nameless tune in her head, feel the breeze increase as she lifted.  

So she lifted her face to the sunshine and let memory take over.  Pirouette.

There was nothing more to strive for.  Arabesque.

Nothing to worry about.

Only joy. Attitude.


Photo by Lida Sterman




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