Hello Stranger

I saw my reflection in the glass walls of a building
Walking along the street one day
I stopped to smooth my coat
A breeze blew my hair astray

Impatiently I flicked it back
Getting late for a meeting
There's no time for frivolities
Its a dog eat dog world you see

But who was it staring at me
Out of the green mirror
It was someone I had forgotten
I said , "Hello Stranger"

This girl who stared right back at me
Her eyes told me a story
Of starry dreams and moonlit nights
Her brow was clear of worry

She stood in the spotlight
Her hair and gown blowing in the wind
The world her stage, the stage her world
Like an angel she would sing

She spoke to me in tones that lingered..
"Hello Stranger"

The reflection cleared
I stared back at myself
When did I leave my dreams behind
When were my songs shelved?

My face pinched with concentration
Trying to keep up with work's pace
Pondering how much the next cheque would bring
Trying to stay ahead in the rat race

No sign of starry eyes
Or the sheer joy of symphony
No music like a kaleidoscope of colours
Every note in perfect harmony

My guitar replaced by a purse
How ironical, I smirked
Passion overcome by profession
Heart overtaken by work

The Stranger returned
She put out her hand
I took a leap of faith
And held on with all I had

I shook out my hair
from the ribbon that held it tied
It was almost symbolic as I brought back to Life
That part of me that had almost died

I turned my face up to the sun
And breathed in deeply, savouring the fresh air
I walked with a new spring in my step
Suddenly life seemed lovely and fair

As I hummed a new tune, I looked back at the mirror
I saw myself now...
No longer a Stranger

The Colour of Love : Green

She sat in her corner, darning a dress
She sniffed and brushed away a tear
The dress was green, a plain woollen knit
It looked old and faded, threadbare almost
But she held it with a loving tenderness
She looked at a picture, black and white on the mantelpiece
It showed a laughing couple in the bloom of youth
A strong young man and a pretty young woman
Arm in arm by the seaside
The woman wore the green dress
Her eyes sparkled and the warmth of love enveloped them both

She remembered those days of early love
She'd been a waitress, he was a mechanic
It was perfect - spring, youth, hope, togetherness
They weren't wealthy, but they got by
As long as they had each other they were rich
The wedding was simple and spontaneuos
Family and friends gathered on the beach
Everyone came straight from work
She had her special green dress on
The one he'd gifted her when he proposed
They took their vows on the beach promenade
Passersby smiled and gave congratulations
And he proudly told them ,"This is my wife"

She looked at her husband now, 40 years later
Crumpled where he'd once been straight backed
His face still held the vestiges of his handsomeness
But his eyes were vacant, expressionless
They used to be alive and merry
The doctors called it Alzheimer's
All she knew was he no longer remembered her

They only had each other
Forty long years gone in the blink of an eye
They had had their good days and their bad ones
But the love had never diminished, only grown
Even when she couldn't have babies
Even when he lost his job
Even when they had to give up their dream of going to Europe
Because they had to pay for their house instead
But they loved their home and each other
And that was enough for them both
Now they didn't have each other
And she had never been poorer in her life

He would shuffle around the house
He looked at her, but didn't see her anymore
She had begged the doctor to let him stay at home with her
and not to send him away
The doctor had agreed, and they stayed together
At least physically
He was in a world of his own
Fogged and befuddled
He'd been the cornerstone of her life
A tower of strength for her
Now he couldn't even eat without help
She sat with him all day
Showing him their photographs
Willing him to remember
Praying for a glimmer of recognition
He didn't even know her name now

If only she could see a sign
That he had not forgotten their love
She could live with his disease
And with her memories of their life
She would love enough for both of them
She would live their forty years of togetherness
She would believe he still loved her
Just as much as he once did for sure
But she wanted that one sign
To carry on living this life

But she had seen nothing in over a year
And today was their fortieth wedding anniversary
She brought out her wedding dress
That simple green woollen dress
The memento of his love flooded her with anguish
She sat in her corner, darning the threads that age and disuse had pulled apart
She caressed the soft folds of her green dress
And her eyes filled with tears
She was losing hope
And the will to live
She now existed only to make sure
he ate well and had his medicines on time
She felt old and unwanted
And most of all.. unloved

She wiped away her tears
And looked at the clock
It was time for his medicines
She put the dress on the table
And went to get his pills
As she filled a glass with water
She began thinking of suicide
They had no family left, no friends to speak of
Dying together seemed better
than living without being together
She went back to the parlour
And stopped in her tracks

For there he was, sitting in her chair
Holding the green dress in his hands
He looked up at her, his eyes clear and bright
And he smiled at her like the old days
He pointed to the photograph on the mantelpiece
And said proudly, "That is my wife"

Just one glimmer of recognition, though the rest was still foggy
She laughed through her tears
She could live now
She could make a fresh start
Even though he still knew her not
She knew he still loved her deep in his heart

And as she cried and laughed and hugged him tight,she thanked God for the sign she had seen
And in the parlour that anniversary day, the Colour of their Love was Green.
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