the hula-hooper {a person}

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.

me too.

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.