as the dusk eased itself
in its red-tinted cloak
touching the paddies ready for planting,
the last stranglers walking among them,
heading for home.
She thought, for a moment,
about those she left behind,
about the girl who kissed her mother goodbye
never to see her again,
then about the amber-eyed man,
waiting for her like she had never left,
ready to lift her up.
She thought about the store
that would stand where she stood now,
and how she used to go there,
laughing with her friends,
not realizing then
how its place in the world would become her retreat,
far from the schoolgirls who would browse its shelves,
here, now, beneath the cedar branches.
Thinking of a fish she watched one day
heading for someplace against the river’s current,
she knew she had gone against the flow,
and some prices had to be paid.
But turning to see the silver haired man coming for her,
hair touched warm by the light of sunset,
eyes so serious and bright,
she knew she had made the right choice.