Winter whittles my soul to a frail shell that bends closer to the cold ground. Slow moving around in darkness with head down, hunched shoulders, and permanent scowl. I feel the slow stiffening within called the law of the land, yet mind races in perpetual motion looking backward and forward, rarely at the now. I wonder if ever my mind will seek refuge in the body’s natural inclination to fold up like an embryo preserving all its energy for basic sustenance. I wait in a dreamlike state for spring to return to my step. My spirit refuses to let go.
Jose sat through morning Mass because that’s where she went every day. She was no beauty. She wore glasses and loose fitting clothes, but he looked past appearances. He had plenty of sisters to know what girls really looked like before makeup and hairspray. This girl had qualities that could not be learned. She crossed herself with dignity, as if she belonged in a royal court, yet accepted the Holy Communion with humility, ready to serve the community. She was authentic, and her razor sharp mind wise beyond her years. He prayed that she’d see past his pretty boy looks.