we meet in the hall of the museum
she has brought her husband
he hangs up her long green coat
and she turns to me

she is diminished
her hair thinner, unkempt
mascara clumped
and her hand shakes as she
opens her purse to pay

she clasps her hands behind her back
walking slowly with her right leg stiff
I ask if she’s alright
I’m fine, she says, just slow.

later at lunch
we drink red wine
she talks of taking her children
to the park when they were small
You’re young, she tells me
and we laugh

I drive home past brown fields
the dead grass shining
the lake cold and bright

around a curve
the land softens
and there is a maple grove
blue pails on every tree

the sap is running today

Katie Schnorr is a second grade teacher. She lives on the outskirts of Kolberg in Southern Door County with her husband and two young daughters.