Ann Keiffer

Garden Party

Sitting in the chair at the hair salon
draped in a cape of drab-brown,
waiting to get a few more blonde
highlights to blend with my gray,
I look up at the mirror and I’m
shocked to see… I am 70.
I look all my years, 70.
I feel all my years, 70.
My next thought hits like a
thousand-pound disco ball
dropping from a tree

The party is over.

I am stunned by the words.
As if I’d forgotten. The party
is coming to an end. Even now,
the confetti is heaping on my feet,
the helium balloons, deflating,
the streamers sagging to lank.

Well-meaning people rush in to
reassure me, tell me I’m wrong.
You don’t look 70, they say.
You could live 20 years more.
The party isn’t even close to over.
It’s hard to explain that the
unwelcome awareness that the
party is ending brings with it a
new invitation.
Come into the Garden,
the invitation says,
before you have to leave.

Hawks flying their weightless
geometry in the sky, making
my body feel weightless, too,
light enough to float on the wind…

crickets rubbing wings together
like spiccato bowing on violin
strings, playing into being all
the lullabies of summer nights…

the cat, padding over to love-tap
my ankles, blue-shining eyes,
creamy fur luminous in the light
and soft as a baby’s sigh…

the breeze ruffling through the
hedges, making them look like
they’re breathing, patting my
face with wind-hands,
another kind of love-tap…

dry lightening on the mountain,
cracking open the blue-black egg
of sky, lighting up the dark with
a slash of power, gone like a spark…

lunch on the balcony, enjoying toasted
bagel, cream cheese, fresh basil and
tomato and an intoxicating view of
valley, mountain, and sky…

grand-daughter, little flower, flowering–
kiss the baby, chase the toddler, watch
the child, quirk the tween–blooming
so creatively into herself…

me inside the house, humming the music,
washing the dishes, gazing out the window
from the glow of the kitchen into the
deepening-dusk of night.

Ann Keiffer
August, 2015

Image Credit: Google search


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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