The old woman looks out her kitchen window at the snow falling as she waits for the microwave to heat her frozen dinner.
The minutes in her life are falling past her eyes like the snowflakes falling from the grey December sky.
Her fingers – twisted and gnarled like the branches of a crab apple tree – tremble uncontrollably as she watches a squirrel gather nuts from her frosted window.
For a moment, she is transported to the lawn with the squirrel.
Excitement courses through her body as she runs and chases the squirrel and breathes the cold, crisp winter air deep into her lungs…
The shrill beeping of the microwave drags her back into the kitchen – back to reality.
She slowly retrieves her pre-packaged Salisbury steak and shuffles back into the living room so that she can be close to the phone – just in case someone remembers to call.
The noise from her TV chases away the loneliness – for now.
She pulls the cellophane back from her birthday feast and sighs.
copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh