My neighbour, Carol, measures her life in the increments in which she is able to walk without resting. She takes two walks a day in the hallway, or down in the lobby, sometimes outside in the half-circle driveway if the sun is shining and it’s a good day. She reports that she’s up to eight minutes, or ten, or has dropped back to three after a week-long cold set her back. She carries kindness like a bouquet, the petals falling casually. At the last condominium pizza party, she brought balloons because she knows everyone loves balloons, even if you are middle-aged and childless and have forgotten many things about joy. She thanks me for stopping to talk, for helping her wrap the shopping bag strap around the knob on the arm of her walker. She thinks I have done her a favour, yet I am the one who walks away with a fresh lily in her hand. In my apartment, it draws the sunlight and the scent of amber pollen fills the room.


Progressive Tense Cards (16)

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