on the sidewalk

She’s in a housedress, pulling out unwanted sprouts around a sapling in a sidewalk planter. “I’m gonna make a whole garden out here,” she announces, gesturing in a sweep that includes the whole street. She speaks in torrents. “Little white fences! I’ve got a green thumb. And you know, I work for the city, that’s right. This is hard work.” She steps back a little and shakes a fistful of weeds. “So every time I yank one out, I think about a politician I hate.” Her laugh is, predictably, a little unhinged. I bid her good morning and turn down the street. She’s still talking when I walk away.


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