She laughed and tilted her head back
She was laughing at something I had said
About traffic lights.
Something about the bus driver always wanting them to be green
But they were mostly red and often yellow.
She had green eyes.
She sat under the tree and watched us play
Then she would call us to her, and we would sit around her
Shaking out her dress so the dry grass cuttings would fall
she told us about her desire to go to sea in a sailing boat
and her dream to train guide dogs.
Then, opening a book, she would read to us.
The sun dancing through the leaves and the smell of sweat dry air
Still play in my memory.
Her blonde hair, German accent, made her so unique.
In the evenings, dad would make me collect firewood.
I would load the wheelbarrow and push it past the school to her house
And there I would stack her firewood hutch.
She would stand at the back door and watch me.
I would carry a few logs into the house and fill her wood box next to the fire.
The shelves in her living room were filled with books
And I would sit on her lounge chair, waiting to receive a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit.
She would sit next to me and tell me about her holiday in Africa or her hometown.
Then, when it became dark and the fire had warmed the room,
I would reluctantly rise and walk home in the cold.
Always I would spend too long at her house.
Those winter nights felt like a great romance to me.