The Woman in the City

by Julia Johnson

She waited, driftwood body stung by wasp,
her folded hand like a knife. She was irritable, too
lifeless to wait any longer. The radio rattled and she
remembered her stroke in the stream. She turned like a top,
in, and then once out, she was bright as golden hair. The
trees bristled in the open air. She looked back, the orange
of her dress like an unpredictable peach. Her thumbs held to
her shoulders; it was twelve o’clock. She worried about
something other than her hands. They had helped her,
she knew, in the brassiest and smallest way. The breeze died
down around her smooth head.