By Milton Ehrlich
After celebrating my wife’s 89th birthday,
we googled a man who knows answers
to all of life’s fundamental questions.
He lived far away, and parking was impossible.
I left our car alongside a moat guarding a castle.
Screeching white egrets patrolled the grounds.
A longtime hiker, I could walk around the world,
but my wife was increasingly fragile,
so we decided to hitch a ride—something
I haven’t done since I hitched to college in Iowa City.
We got picked up by an 18-wheeler truckdriver—
a woman with eyes as black as explosive licorice.
Flabbergasted, at her insights, butterflies
flew out of my mouth as I marveled at her ability
to turn our lives inside-out—like an Indian Fakir
making a venomous cobra rise at his musical command.
I tried to thank her, but she drove away,
and left us resting on a bed of pheromone-scented
paperwhites, where rain never touches the ground,
on what was to become our new home married to the earth.