dear wanda

she lives behind us, across the back lane. our backyard and bedroom 
window look into her backyard and perfectly square dining room window. 
her dog, part yellow lab, part husky, is old, deaf, and permanently lives 
outside. she lives with her husband of a zillion years, frail but strong, 
who is possibly deaf himself. i yell when i talk to him just to be safe. 

they garden year round. come march there is a light that stays on through 
the darkness of night. at first i thought weed, then slowly realized the small 
shed is their playroom, the greenhouse, where the seedlings first bud, until 
they are strong enough and brave enough to enter out into the real world. 
leeks, lettuce, peppers, and rows, and rows of tomatoes. 50-year-old seeds from italy. 

dear wanda,

i'm sure i like you much more than you like me. that's ok. i have appreciated 
seeing your outline through your dinning room window. as you sit and eat, probably 
silently with your husband, lit from the light that hangs down from above, 
maybe you see me, maybe you don't. that's ok too. 
i'm always tempted to wave, but fear it might seem weird.
thank-you for the tomatoes, plums, and especially the grape jelly. it has come 
to know many sticky hands. i will miss you when we no longer share a back lane. 
i'm sure i will regret not waving.

                                   from, your neighbour

p.s. my grandma had a friend named wanda, she was sick with cancer, she wore a wig 
and the tag stuck out the back.


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