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A Lady Called Mrs. Graham
by Richard L. Provencher
10/28/2012 / Christian Living
I like to visit my neighbor.
She lives in our apartment building. Upstairs. The third
floor is hard to climb sometimes.
But I dont mind. My name is Benjamin. Im six.
Mrs. Graham is nice.
She walks all bent over. Dad says its because Mrs. Graham is old. But I say its because she points a lot.
I bend over too when I point at birds in my back yard. Mom-Dad. Two more.
What kind? they ask.
I know they want to learn. Now mom, you have to remember. Chickadees, I say.
Right, she answers.
Im smart too. Mrs. Graham says so.
She likes it when I take her for a walk. She walks slowly.
And we talk.
She says Im a good boy. And good boys deserve a treat, she says.
Peanut butter cookies are my favorite. Yummy, I say.
Today we talk even more than yesterday. She gets like that sometimes. Talk-Talk-Talk.
When I was a young girl All her stories begin the same.
But when I listen her eyes light up. They are like fireflies at night. I know. My parents took me to the cottage last summer.
Mrs. Graham wants me to listen to her. Polite boys dont look away, she says. So I listen. And I look at her.
My first son looked like you, she says. You also have dark hair and bushy eyebrows. And long legs, just like my Kevin.
I like to hear her talking about her son.
Where does he live? I ask.
He went far away, she answers. And I can see a tear. So I dont ask any more questions.
Time to walk some more, I say.
Yes, and talk-talk-talk too, she answers.
I listen, about her house in the country. Packs of fireflies came at night, and the stars were always bright, she says.
Oh, the times my husband and I canoed on the river. She looks at me. And smiles.
We had cows to chase. Then we played on grass, greener than crayons. She finally took a breath.
I have a whole stack of crayolas, I say.
Ssshh, she whispers in my ear. I had so many birthday blessings, she says.
Now I want to thank you, she said.
It was time for me to go. Supper was waiting. Mom too. And dad must be home from work.
Mrs. Graham gave me a huge goodbye smile.
She also gave me a bag of grapes.
* * *
Richard & Esther Provencher
Richard enjoys writing poems; many of which have been published in Print and Online. He and his wife, Esther are also co-authors of stories and a print novel. They are "born again" Christians and very busy in their church, Abundant Life Victory International, in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.
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