Pearls


When you get to her age you discover life becomes more about the routine of birth and death. And while she's experienced the first she often sits alone in the dark of her living room waiting to experience the last.

A ringing telephone becomes the pistol in a game of Russian roulette; whether her heart feels joy or sorrow depends on the age of the caller. Youthful excitement tells her she's a great grandmother... again. Solemn maturity reminds her of the reservation she holds in a muddy bed on the outskirts of town.

"It's Georgie," they'll say when it's her turn and a shared cry will follow. Sometimes she worries they won't have any tears left when she goes; and she deserved their tears; she's paid her time and cried for all those before her. She has earned the living's grief.

My Georgie slips on her black dress, her modest nylons, and black walking shoes. Over swollen, aged fingers her rings find their home. From across the pink walled bedroom, resting on the bureau I watch her. Waiting to take my place among the procession of mourning. The only white among the black. My glossy shimmer reflecting like tears.

Me; who will be the last she will ever wear. Her funeral earrings.