Old neighbors


Snow was falling lightly and clinging to our coats but it wasn’t nearly as cold as it looked as we hurried down the brick sidewalk. We passed her at the library steps.

“I wasn’t sure it was you, are you still at the paper?” She was asking all at once but neither of us stopped, me carrying the baby and she shuffling through the snow with a full bag.

I told her no, I was home now, as we started up the wide steps.

“Your birthday’s next month – happy birthday!” she said as she rounded the corner and we headed inside.

She was our neighbor when we first moved here, living in the brick rental on the corner lot. She was our neighbor and took it on herself to know everything about us. She scolded siblings for dropping gravel in a storm grate (it would clog it) and worried about our laundry on the line and watched us from her windows and worried over the college boys behind us.

After we moved she found a letter addressed to me, blown away in the wind, and gave it to one of the owners of the paper to pass on to me.

It’s been a couple of years since we moved across town and months since I’ve seen here walking down Philadelphia Street.

But she remembers my birthday.

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