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Mental Monday #10

Reaching the Top

It took 72 years to reach the top.  She never thought she could climb it.  Living on the bottom taught her not to look that far up.
linocut on handmade paper
Sunny and mild for a winter day, the sky was clear.  The weatherman predicted snow storms.  She put on her new wool gloves.  She had been admiring them for a few months.  Yesterday when she walked by the boutique and saw that they were no longer in the window, she went inside and inquired.  One pair left and they would never go on sale.  She bought them. 

Her new gloves went past her thin wrists, to her forearms.  Once on, she lifted them to her nose and took a deep breath.  The walk to the top would take 60 minutes.  That’s all she needed to reflect on her simple life.  No big goals achieved, no big dreams chased, no celebration for her birthday.  Simple and quiet she lived in a small town.

From that height, she noticed the river beneath.  How the snow would cover everything, make everything still and silent.  The wind picked up and the snowy paws of pines began to bow.  She was glad the wool gloves kept her elbows warm; waitressing all these years gave her all kinds of aches and pains. 

72 and she still couldn't retire.  She worked every day since 17.  Alone, she didn't have any children or spouse.  When asked, she just said, those were the cards she was dealt.  She was tired of explaining the truth.  That in small towns, tragedies happen too.  Not the kinds that you read in papers, the kinds that are too sad to report.  The ones that can't be explained with reason.

At 72 she takes a whiff of her gloves, smells the fancy boutique perfume overpowering heavy kitchen grease, looks up at the sun and walks off the cliff.

©2015 Suzanne Coley


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