This morning, in the dark silvery cast of a high flood light and the pulse of yellow lights from passing cars, I talked to Angel. She asked the time. She had a cart close to full of bottles, and was wondering how long the hours until the depot opened.
She had time to talk and as I deposited my garbage in the dumpster she wanted me to know that she always cleaned up after herself. "I’m not one to leave a mess in the alley."
She spoke simple words, assuring words, and she became shy when she saw she’d pulled me in to stand with her, open and listening.
We have words. We have apples of gold in silver setting words. Words scribbled on the back of an old receipt and left on your desk that notice you’re going through a deep time. Words that do not seek to solve, resolve, or answer; words that carry no heavy loads, that simply see, notice and acknowledge. Words that know the value of space and breathing; and know what not to say.
We have words from the teacher who wouldn’t rest until she could wrap a quilt around you with a phrase. Pleasing words, not placating or prescriptive, or that come with a debt and a duty. Words that bloom in the loam of mercy in late October. Words that listen more than say.