Friday, December 14, 2007


The Vietnamese restaurant is dimly lit, just a few tables, fewer people. The two of us, old friends, scan the menu, order spicy noodle soup.

“I’m okay with living alone,” she has often said. “I can’t give myself over to one demanding man.”

Yet, it has been a long dry spell for her: no romance, no lovers, none of the physical contact that she craves. She had become increasingly resentful that the world of men render women in their 50s invisible. That resentment may be a reason why some men hesitate to cast an amorous look in her direction.

But today is different. She sports a hint of a smile and even giggles, a sound that I usually associate with teen-aged girls, as she announces, “I have a lover. I met him several weeks ago.”

Good for her, I think to myself. We slurp the spicy noodles, our foreheads beading with sweat.

Her eyes are sparkling. “It may be love, I don’t know, I don’t care,” she says. “I’ve jumped off the cliff.”

I don’t say, I hope it’s a long way to the bottom.

late spring romance ―
a thorn bush
flush with wild roses

by Ray Rasmussen
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
first published in Haiku Harvest, V5, N1, Fall/Winter 2oo5

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