after the rains

After muddling through two days of steady and soaking rain, we woke to the greens of spring dripping from the forest.
It’s been bad with her. Now she has mood swings, crying over things she can’t seem to articulate. Her hearing is getting even worse. Her hands and feet are like ice. Communication is just one more frustration. The hiding of things is worse. The fear of being robbed is worse. ” What is happening to me?” she asks. She rubs her stomach, her right shoulder. Sleeps. Presses her hands to her head. Cries. She needs me with her constantly. I feel sick-to-my-own-stomach smothered.
And so after the rains, I leave her in my sib’s care and drive up the gloriously green-edged Thruway, to Albany, to a retirement party for one of my closest former colleagues. I get in town early enough to hit Targets, and Jo-Ann’s crafts, and B.J.’s Warehouse. My trunk is filled with economy-sized packages of toilet paper, tissues, and other such — yarn and fabric and thread. At Home Depot I buy bird seed and hummingbird food and fill up my back seat with vegetable and flower plants and a stupid-looking planter with big human feet and an idiotic smiling face. Perfect.
My retiring colleague takes belly dance lessons, and part of the entertainment at her party are a pair of belly dancers. After the performance, they teach a short lesson. I tie a yellow spangled shawl around my hips and go to it. I work up a sweat. I can really get into that, I think. Years ago I dated a male belly dancer. (He was also a very good ballroom dancer.) He taught me a few good moves. But that was when I had a waistline.
I spent today planting patches of garden. I have a tomato patch, a broccoli patch, a lettuce patch, and an herb patch. And one strawberry plant. I put in some lavender and daisies and three exotic lilies next to the house. I’m out in the sun and the wind all afternoon. I feel better.
The mesclun and marigold seeds I started indoors are ready to plant too. I’ll do those patches tomorrow. After I paint the tire I found in the woods green and plant some impatiens in it. And before we take her to the doctor’s to try to figure out what we should be doing. Or not doing.
We’ll have sun for several more days. And then it will rain again. And then there will be sun.

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