Not so idle

you’ve all seen this:
an old lady in long winter coat
pushing forth a cart
of some sort
an inch, then another across
the crosswalk
savoring her breath as
if the final consumption—
you’ve all turned your heads
away before
she arrives at the curb
late
busied by the ease
of your bodies’
function
by the cursory nature of time
presented in the artifice of
morning papers—
but here she comes,
encroaching
gallant as a knight
stripped of mail
placing her deformed hand
on a rounded post
softening the iron
in her grip
as her breathing
once again
losing strength collects—
one final shove
pushing off, adrift
she closes in
her face fully
exposed
in the window pane
the crags and gullies
drought and mist—
you turn your head
away
to catch in every grotesque mirror
a glimpse:
encroaching—
you push away

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