Monday, June 13, 2016

amid the geraniums

"Let's go outside. It's not too bad out there, Mom." We walked out of the dining room. She used her cane. I slowed my pace yet was slightly ahead of her. We found two chairs facing the setting sun, partly in the shade. A man to our right sat in a chair, slouched, eyes closed, mouth open. Facing us, a man and a woman, he in a wheelchair. "Those geraniums are really something, aren't they?" "They're beautiful." Eight hanging baskets in two parallel rows. Bright red geraniums, full, lush, some buds still to blossom. "I love that tree like an umbrella. They get it to be just right." Sparrows jumping into the bird bath or leaning over for a sip and then darting off. Bees landing on the ground-cover flowers. She kept coming back to the geraniums, mentioning them over and over, with the same phrase, as if we had not already spoken of them. And I'd reply likewise. The sun was too hot for her. I said it was because her black pants absorbed the heat. The couple in front had left. We took their seats. The sun was at our back; we were in the shade. She could smell the fragrance of flowers. I could not. Purple. White. Green. Yellow. "That guy is dozing off." She replied: "You never know. Maybe he just doesn't want to talk."

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