A LITTLE OLD LADY ON A TRICYCLE
She’s out there every morning when I walk my dog.
A little on the heavy side. Blue skirt. White blouse. Faded beige panama style hat jammed firmly onto greying curls.
The tricycle wobbles as she pedals, body weight shifting side to side in a modified two step.
Pedal down on the left.
Body leans to the left.
Pedal down on the right.
Body leans to the right.
The cracked plastic seat groans and moans in A flat major.
The wheels squeak a mechanical protest in G minor.
Coffee brown hands firmly grasp handle bars worn thin with use.
A rusty wire basket is tied to the back. Empty.
I watch out for her. She makes my day.
As she sways past I wait for my morning greeting.
“Y’all have yourself a good day now, honey.”
I return the greeting. Continue on my way.
I decided she had a story. And wrote it.
She has three children. Two girls and a boy. The girls are married, and she has grandchildren. Five in all.
The boy joined the Marines. He was killed Afghanistan.
Her husband is sickly. She’s the caregiver. There was a time she would go to the Farmer’s Market with her bike. Buy fruit and vegetables. Bring it home in that carrier basket on the back of her trike.
Nowadays, someone picks her up by car., takes her to the Supermarket, and she rides one of those scooters to do her shopping.
She had a dog once. When the children were small. The dog died a long time ago. She thought about getting another one. But dogs cost money and funds are tight.
Then again, it might cheer up her husband.
She goes to church every Sunday at St. Stephens AME Church.
On good days, she rides her tricycle. It’s good for the heart.
She used to knit, quilt, and sew but her eyes are so bad now, she can no longer do those things.
I wonder how wrong or right I am in the story I wrote. And decided,
One day soon I would stop her and ask.
But then I did not see her in two weeks. Something was missing in my mornings.
I wondered if she was okay.
I wondered if I might never get a chance to ask.
Then one morning, there she was! On the other side of the street. Burnt orange skirt and khaki shirt this time but the hat stayed the same.
“Y’all have yourself a good day now.”
Off she went. Pedal to the left, pedal to the right. Working hard.
I didn’t have the heart to stop her and ask.
But once again, all was well in my world.
Cyber Hugs and Blessings All.