Looking through my reflection in the bus window
trees falling away as the highway catches up
one stump in a tall grove draws my reverie.
Eventually I am arrived, uprooted from musings on whether my side table
because stranger things have happened
could be made from that displaced tree and then
aren’t we all connected in a vast network of unseen coincidences,
lonely me and lonely tree.
Standing in a dark tomb in Egypt
they show us how mirrors bring sunlight into the tunnels.
Itchy sweaty coconut sunblock cipro college class trip becomes suddenly
the newest audience.
It cannot be thousands of years since
my feet where the artist stood
my body memory projecting the brushstrokes
and I am still
with the hieroglyphics
as if they were my own.
Taking the pearl earrings from her shaky hands
because no one else wants them
and she will be dying in a couple of days
white hair, white sheets, white pearls.
If I mention the snow outside
I can bring in the brown and gray of the parking lot slush.
There I sat, with in-laws soon to be out once the papers are signed
her own daughter hasn’t talked to her in 40 years of widowhood
and we both know these fake pearl earrings
are all I’ll have to remember her by but