“I can’t get to lunch next week,
I have a doctors appointment.”
Begins one of three elder woman at table eight
In a quaint café
She’s the one wearing a blue silk scarf
It lays lightly around her neck, draped over her chest
In floral design

“I get a little depressed,
Especially this time of year.”
Begins the second woman
She’s the one with curly hair
Hiding her silver with a head
Of dyed red

“You look good.”
The third women says to the red head
She’s the one about to have a coughing fit
In a plain pink sweater

“I hear you have bronchitis.”
Blue scarf says to pink sweater

Pink sweater stops coughing, smiles, and says
“If you don’t have health insurance by the 15th
You are going to get penalized.
Could you believe that?”
They all nod in disbelief

“Maybe you have Lyme.”
Blue scarf says to the red head
“Lyme originated in Lyme Connecticut
And you’re always visiting your daughter in Salem.”

They all laugh
Pink sweater has a coughing fit

“People love their animals.”
Blue scarf begins
“She wanted to bring her dog,
But it’s a six to seven hour flight.
She got a retailer to feed and keep it company a few times a day.”

“Hey, if you can afford it.”
The red head says

I finish my meal and as I am leaving, blue scarf and pink sweater
Help the red head open a gift they gave her for her birthday

“We know you love coffee.”
Blue scarf says
“There’s a beautiful phrase on the back
With a couple of hearts.
It’s dishwasher and microwave safe.”

I pull out of the cafe’s parking lot with my own phrase
Swimming around my aging head,

“The quality of our later life
is partly under our control.”