Charlotte Matthews

Two Moments with Strangers

The day I walk all ten miles
of the Ridge Road,
I stop to ask for water from a man
whose tended garden blooms
against the chipped metal of his trailer
where his wife shifts about in the heat
praying that a storm will rise
over the near mountains.
The water is sweet and I thank him.
Red poplin curtains wave back
and forth in a fan’s path.
Soon, the man promises, soon
your baby will be born
and it will be a girl
as you have wished so hard for.
The woman in the waiting room
reading Newsweek speaks to me
as I make my appointment.
She says Emma is beautiful
and there is something in her voice I recognize.
When I turn to took at her she is wearing
an onyx necklace like my mother’s and a wool
blazer and her eyes are small
and bright and she smells of winter
like my mother and I know that
she has come for this one moment.

Charlotte Matthews
Two Moments with Strangers first appeared in Potomac Review.