By Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh
A lone ant patiently carries an impossible load.
The weight’s so heavy, she loses her balance in every small step.
Instead of asking for help or splitting the bundle–
she stops to rest, dances, and eats what she carries.
Her burden nourishes, energizes as well as challenges her.
How do I eat my challenges, so I may also carry them home?
I see you. I get it. The long hair stranded in two braids. Lonely for each other, they parted ways after the split. I see you waiting. By the counter, ordering coffee, you twirl the edge of your skirt around your little finger. Bubblegum lipstick and dark eye liner. You’re in your fifties, but you still feel fifteen.
“Can I have more sugar?” You look at the glass jar next to the cream. It’s almost as empty as your coat pockets when you say you have no change. It’s the change that you’re always waiting for.
12:25 p.m. March 25, 2015
You were tall. Impossibly so. Towering behind me, I heard your voice before I saw you. I felt the sharpness of your words.
“Tall coffee,” you said. “No cream.”
By the starch in your button down and the crease in your slacks, I knew you’d take it black. Stiff, no nonsense, you didn’t move out of the way when I reached for a napkin. Instead you stood still, as if the world wasn’t spinning. As if the rest of us weren’t even there.
2:10 P.M. Monday, March 23rd.
She is obviously pregnant. Not the polite kind of pregnant that tries to hide behind over-stuffed purses or shopping bags. She is the ostentatious kind, pressed against tight red spandex. When she breathes, her belly—no longer her stomach—protrudes proudly. The word belly sounds silly and gentle. Infantile and almost condescending. This used to be her body part. Now she is part child.