Afternoon Mood
…after the painting by Guilda Dimi
by Michael Escoubas

Though these roses have been pruned
from the bush, their fragrance permeates the room.

One of the roses shows tints of pink,
stirring memories of my Grandma dressing

to ride the bus to downtown Peoria.
Ladies, in those days, never left the house

without their makeup. As we walk together
toward the bus stop, I sense an ambience

about her, something in the air, in the way
she walks, her firm grip on my hand.

She knows who she is, where she’s going.
I feel safe within the bouquet of her being.

After shopping at Bergner’s and Macy’s, we
linger over milkshakes at Walgreen’s.

I carry our packages onto the bus. She needs
my hands to steady her. I don’t mind at all.

Her presence filled the empty spaces of my life.
Mine did the same for her, though she never said so.

This rose of my heart, long pruned from the bush,
her essence lingers on in moodiest afternoons.


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