red hair
but not that fiery red
not the red that makes you think of sex and lipstick and fishnet stockings
dishwater red
even against the everyday black
this woman's ensemble
her uniform

she is
very tailored
it's not just her pants
more than that
words are well-composed
the moment just right
movements are not too small
not too out of control
just enough
to communicate what she's trying to say
laughter is sized for the amusement
it doesn't quack or hoot or god forbid snort
it is a lovely, lilting, honest laughter
bubbling out of a slightly open mouth with crinkled but not wrinkled eyes

for twenty-seven days i have been watching this woman
and i have a feeling that today will be the day
i am determined to catch her
out of balance
off kilter
in flux
i am determined to see her eat chocolate pudding out of a cup with her finger while rocking the baby in one arm and jamming her feet into her size seven perfectly matte black flats and making a phone call to see why the recycling hasn't been picked up in three weeks

or something like that