Every smile you give is
A hundred times returned.
And every word of kindness is
Eternal kindness earned.
And from first the baby crawls,
To grave’s a steady climb.
But don’t despair for all’s a spree
In meter and in rhyme.
She was the kind of dame who could enter a room just by climbing in the window. You know the kind I mean… stealthy, limber, the kind who could climb exterior walls with nothing but her Nikes and her suction-cup palms. I had given her a key, even left the front door unlocked in case the lock would jam, which it never did, but you never know. SHE knew, just not you. Not ever. She: always. You: never. That’s what drew me to her. The way she always knew while climbing in the window. Still, she’d knock over the planter each time. But she’d build a new one. Each time. And fill it with soil and seeds. You know the kind I mean. The kind that grow and then get knocked to the ground each time she climbed in the window. And that was why she had me. That and the steel-fiber-and-velvet cord she kept tied around my wrists and secured to the 1968 Rambler grill she used as a headboard. And even though I had long ago pulled free of the simple bow she had tied by pulling gently on the cord with my teeth, I stayed. Not just because she could enter a room (just by climbing in the window). Or that she always knew. Or even her carpentry and gardening skills. That would be enough to keep me through the holidays, because she trimmed a nice tree. That was another kind of dame she was. A real trimmer. But that wasn’t why I stayed. Although that, especially taken with the aforementioned, would be more than enough. I stayed… because she knew how to rumba… and the lessons were free.