the beautiful woman with the nervous laugh is outside tonight.
she is hula-hooping.
something i've never been able to do.
a big handmade hoop going round and round as she talks to us from her backyard.
my daughter is wide-eyed and filled up with the magic this lady is making.
her own babies much older now, the hula-hooping woman's deep wrinkles are showing
around her eyes
and her hair is lightly frosted with gray.
she can't help but smile.
several days later, i see her at a coffee shop.
she doesn't notice me with her eyes stuck to the screen.
face pale, body tense, wrinkles like cement troughs to her temples.
i think of her hula-hooping night and i feel the slightly tangy taste of
relief and sorrow and love.
so: this happens to the hula-hooping woman too.
and even still, she makes space for a little hip-shaking magic-making in the backyard on a tuesday night.