Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Widow

There's an old woman who lives around the corner on a nearby street. We pass her house all the time. She has the most immaculate yard I've ever seen. The grass is like a putting green. Only, I think it shines. It's like a shiny putting green. There are no weeds. There aren't even any leaves on the lawn, even though she has a tall, full, healthy maple on her extension.

We've seen her out there sweeping her lawn and the street out in front of her house with a broom. Not a rake, but a house broom. And she's always dressed like she's going to the symphony: always a black top and a red pleated skirt with black trim. She's probably about 75 years old. We call her The Widow.

Not long ago, I saw The Widow sweeping her extension again in her black and red Sunday getup. Sitting on the lawn next to the maple was a shiny tea kettle. The main body part was the color of pearl, and the spout was a spotless silver.

I asked my neighbor across the street if she'd noticed The Widow, and my neighbor said she talked to her. She thinks her name is Helen or something like that, which is perfect. She said she grew up in Grosse Pointe, and was taught to be clean in everything. She told my neighbor she should see the inside of her house: "So clean you could eat off the floor!" My neighbor declined the invitation, but was clearly taken with The Widow.

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