She always told stories,
not stopping though her mind
changed course and thoughts
traced the bend of the river,
slush in moss and rock.
Others hurried by her,
stopping to adjust a blanket
or inject a meal.

Tears rested on her cheeks,
abalone shells on a sand swept beach
after a sudden rain.
She cupped an ancient summer ocean
and poured it over her face.
Words fell jumbled from her mouth,
swayed back and forth, the weight
of an old pendulum, she told stories.

Pain rushed in, her new partner,
a constant companion,
jealous lover.
The moon hung low enought to touch,
light danced as grace across her frailty.
Wild grape vines in autum dark,
wrapped around a cedar sapling.
Eyes focused on memory repeated.
She told stories still.