Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Next door, they're washing windows.

The husband removes the panes and leans them against the fence. He has a rag draped over the end of a broom to brush the season's spider webs from each window frame.

The wife washes the downed panes, crouching next to the fence line. Her knees are better than his.

They don't speak. I don't think he can hear very well.

Their house will be ready for winter. A season that seems so far from this warm morning but will wrap its cold hands around us before we know it.

Inside my own house, the sun streams through floor-to-ceiling front windows. Ruthie presses her nose, lips, fingers against the glass. Her breath condenses in a halo around her mouth. A leaf falls. Her eyes follow it's descent.

When John pulls into the driveway, she waves through the smudged glass like it's her job.

Didn't he just clean these panes last week? Fingerprints already layer the knee-high sections.

But maybe I'll never wash these windows thoroughly again. Because really, what's the point? And because maybe one day, when I have whole mornings to take them down and carefully wipe away the dust laid down by 30 years of living in this house, I'll find traces of today. Proof of the fingerprints that are pressed into my heart.