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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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