In a wild wind, I shoveled scoops of sandy snow. As I stopped for a gulping breath, I spied a wrapped-up lady pushing bulky mukluks along the sidewalk. Thin and straight she was, in a salt & pepper coat, and she stopped for a second to watch me throw snow over shoulder.
Walked up to me, she did, as bold as a crow, and I stopped once more, grateful for a borrowed breath. Thinking to be handed a church pamphlet, or to be asked for spare change, I thought to look into her face (half covered by a flying black scarf). I could not see whether she smiled, nor could she see mine, as we both resembled masked bandits. She had bright eyes like grey asters, and when a shock of her long hair freed itself in the wind, I thought it witchy and confused with nettles.
She reached forth with a mittened hand, petting me on the shoulder, and laughed an odd laugh, like a chicken’s cluck. When she pulled her scarf down enough to speak, I saw a sharp nose and a thin-lipped smile. “You’re a good ‘un”, she said, and her aster eyes searched mine. “Yah. A good ‘un.” Once more, that papery smile, and then she patted me again and turned to go. A peculiar feeling welled up from inside me, and I dropped my shovel and made to take her hand. “Are you alright?” I asked.
All that came was a weary nod and then the chicken cluck laugh, and my witchy friend disappeared into the snowfall, just like a winter’s dream.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.