How long has it been since I’ve seen her? Twenty years? Thirty? Forty? Yet there she stands — Irma. In her lilac house dress, patterned all over with small sprigs of flowers. In her flat, sensible, Mary-jane style shoes — scuffed and comfortable. In her nude compression stockings — rolled beneath her knees and creased in folds about her ankles. She is small and compact – moreso than I recall – and stands with her small hands neatly folded over the curve of her belly. Coiffed and snowy ringlets peep from the band of her netted, pillbox hat. Oyster-colored cat-framed glasses perch on the bridge of her nose, connected — one temple to the other — by a strand of silver beads that drapes loosely down the back of her neck.
Most of all, though — most of all — Irma smiles. A pure, honest, dimpling smile that lifts her cheeks against the lower rims of her glasses and transforms her eyes into twin, up-side-down smiles.
She stands;,a solitary figure amidst a great stretch of rolling lawn – a graveyard that has not yet received internments. Surrounding her – uniformly and purposely spaced – ancient, solitary trees lift their age-roughened branches skyward. Pale spring light glides like youth through the trees’ slow-budding limbs.
And Irma – hands clasped; standing in her own shadow; light glancing off her glasses’ lenses – Irma smiles.
— C.Birde, 4/18