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A Sad Surprise 

A couple decades difference in our ages, a dozen years as neighbors, perhaps a handful of brief chats through the lattice and hydrangeas.

A few times I put your newspaper at your door so you wouldn't have to retrieve it in bathrobe and slippers.

So as not to disturb you, I bring my dog in before the third bark.

The empty recycling can is a different issue. I fell trying to pick it up out of the gutter and then crashed it into the side of your house attempting to put it where it belongs. Until that day, I thought I was so much younger than you.

I check on you after earthquakes and when the power goes out.

I see you come and go, an active social lady. Your clothes and hair always stylish. Your smile always sweet.

Oh, and the comfort I get hearing the laughter and murmured conversations of your garden parties beyond the fence.

Once more, last night, as I closed my curtains, your house was dark. Dark with ethereal silence.

Mary, who could have known how much I would miss you?

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Jenny Lovewell

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