folds her hands at the movies and why she punches dough on a wooden board. It’s why she runs
her fingers over the hem of a skirt and explores her vagina at night. It is even why she adjusts her
Once a man or another woman ran fingers along her thighs, her spine, her breasts, the contours of
her lips. Her body awoke time after time. Then perhaps her world became dry. Dreams were her
An old woman without touch loses her sense of charity.
Come sit down beside me. I am an old woman but my juices still flow. You see my hand on
a book. My fingers trace the edges of the cover. He is inside the book. She is inside the book. I
carry them everywhere even though our lives were imperfect. I carry them, the parade of ghosts
who entered my life and disappeared.
Today I walked out on the patio and touched a tomato plant that will become fruitful mid-summer.
It is the late summer of my life. However, I am counting on another season. I will pick
up the plump red fruit. I will slice it. I will place a thin slice on the palm of my hand but I will
not squeeze it. No, I will study it as if it is a newborn child.
Joan Halperin writes prose and fiction. She lives in a continuing care community in Canton, Ma. Here she writes and teaches creative writing to a group of residents in their eighties and nineties. She has been published in Persimmon Tree, Light Years, Rosebud Magazine, New York Quarterly, Confrontation and others.