Evening Kept Simple
by Ann White

Feet firm against the shallow carpet, balanced
on a worn wooden ledge, the step-down into
a Florida room, she begins right foot first.

The wood shine is buffered from butts and heels,
the scuff and polish of years. Flicking the cotton
strand over and through, she tightens and moves

to the left foot. It's a little after six, both her hands
gather up the laces like intimate bonds, familiar
as the backdoor, plain as cheese omelet on Saturday.

These things: worn edges, cheese & eggs, the backdoor
and her shoelaces, natural as sunrise and common
as frog calls in rain. All of it, she perceives, cinching

the bow, is enough. Random lines from a book
of verse emerge: what were they? The words distill
into the evening. She smiles at her feet.

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