80. The New Man

After weeks of rain the sun shone on the lawn one morning. Marsha went into her garden with coffee and observed the wet carnage inflicted by slugs. She observed all the holes eaten in leaves by unseen creatures. She parted rotted stems sword-crossed in the soggy overgrowth and found a yellow flower just bloomed.

Marsha tried to clear a path. This yellow flower needed the sun, the sun that had had so little to do with the earth and her garden these last few weeks.

Morning work traffic had started beyond the hedges. In the trees she heard birds, blues and browns. A bumble bee zoomed in and hugged a stem nearby with the sun on its eyes.

Marsha’s new man leaned over. “What is that thing? It appears somewhat bedraggled.”

“Help me hold these open. Let’s get some sun in here,” Marsha told him. This new man, who had longer arms, reached in and parted the shambles with the backs of his hands and the surface of his arms.

The new man, on his knees, his arms wide like a sunning flamingo, the little yellow flower exposed to the sun, said, “That’s hits it right on. We should keep these open with some sticks.”

Marsha stood and went to the porch, where she’d left her coffee. She sat in the sun. She sipped her coffee, which was hot and creamy and tasted just right. She watched the new man and waited. She wanted to see just what kind of man this new man was.

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