Soap in the Driveway
A horse in the driveway
Newly paved and meant for an old faded blue datsun truck
Right above the garden
Peppers and tomatoes -warm in the sun.
A horse covered in soap
A skinny girl, smiling ear to ear
A best friend and spray nozzle on the hose.
A horse so tall: 17 hands if I recall
Who ran and bucked and was unpredictable
As tame as a puppy
Currently, as still as the wind, happily soaking up the suds.
That beautiful, smiling girl
Showing her midriff and her braces
Happiness in a driveway
Giving a horse a bath.
The rain taps and rolls down the window,
Camelias, lipstick pink and stainless white, dance
Brown bruises appearing on the petals - green thick leaves shaking in the storm.
Faint fumes of clay dust and acrylic paint
As I inhale slow, tapping my foot
To break the time of the rain from the beat of my fingers on the smooth keys
Pressing a rhythm, a melody, a counterpoint
To the sounds on the window
A chorus of tapping
A song in itself.
Chores or not, I don’t actually remember. I’m not sure if I was paid to pull the weeds, or offered out of boredom, or of a want to help. Whatever the case, I remember the constant hum of bees as the sun pulled toward the horizon. Sitting low, but not quite sinking, a world half lit – gray dusk against golden sky. Sounds of happy laughing down the street, a dog barking next door, and a soft breeze. Rose at the end of their bloom. Musky sweet, petals barely holding on – too open to warrant a vase, even the threat of clippers and the petals dropped unceremoniously to the ground.
And the hum of bees in the rosemary, in the honeysuckle, grasping for the last bits of pollen, enjoying the cool in between of the day. The off-white honeysuckle flowers: sweet smelling and tasting, but always ragged and worn out and wilty -beautiful to two senses at least.
One such evening I was cutting the rosemary. My hands sore and scraped from pulling the long weeds around the rose. “Gloves are for suckers” I thought, but my fingers never believed me.
We had new electric hedge clippers -used on the “hedge” of rosemary to make it more manageable. The spaghetti smell covered me – smothering the honeysuckle and rose -those electric clippers a blur -buzzing along with the bees – humming smoothly – until they stopped short.
The green cord the same green as the rosemary.
And the manual clippers were reinstated, but the bees kept up their hum.