Lydia at the Table

Lydia at the Table
Old Lady in Blitar
Lydia… street vendor…
patterns glass bead necklaces
into sparkling rainbows
on purple velvet cloth.
Her arthritic fingers
flutter above the jewelry
until symmetry is shaped.
She hardly glances
at a blur of passing strangers.
She seems reluctant
to notice people standing there.
In turn, they seem reluctant
to break her gauzy trance.
She appears the image of a wise diviner…
more like a sorceress at her trade.
If someone asks a question,
her gentle gesture
above the surface of the table
shows their answers will lie there.
Should someone break the necklace spell
and lift the jewels to catch the light
an expression almost painful
marks her grandma face.
Attached to each glittering strand
is a tiny lettered tag.
Occasionally shoppers simply glance
then overpay the price.
When she wraps a purchase
in purple tissue like a gift
some feel compelled
for reasons without words
to bless her silently.

Bonnie Marshall

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