Sometimes, on the way home from school
I would see Mrs Svensson
out on her big, front yard.
She would be reading or just sitting there
enjoying the sun, her hands languid
across her lap. We always said hello.
The Svenssons would throw these parties.
Even with the winter, nascent,
I remember the tables laid out on the yard
& cherry-coloured lights, strung,
from evergreen to evergreen
& all evening, they would come
men with scraggly beards & women in sleek dresses
the whole spectacle framed in copper red
all of them drinking till the sky dwindled to a dull glow
I remember the women always
sounding less important
even from a distance.
Yesterday evening I saw her again
sitting on the side step, her mouth agape.
A book sat on her lap
the wind rifling through its pages
as if to say, have you looked here yet