pedestrian cheekbones

pedaling east
under pre-sunset sky
stormwind at my back
you should see how this light
bronzes stucco church buildings
gilds pedestrian cheekbones
softens a rough-edged world even in this unseasonable cold

the mountains/hills whose names i always ask of people
and either no one knows what to tell me
or i have difficulty remembering
but those mountains
and how they rise
patches of purple, dust brown and grey

_______

the woman at the grocery store smiles at me as she walks from the parking lot to the front door
while i unlock my bike
it’s a real big smile
how far do you ride?
she asks
wind lifting her shortcurled browngrey hair
i live about three miles from here
i say
and then she disappears behind a while to find a basket and comes back out and says
it’s a wonderful thing you are doing
and i give a grateful awwww, thank you
because no one has ever really told me that
and especially not with such genuineness
and starred-eyes
(as if she’d never seen anyone bike away from a grocery store before
with stuffed panniers
and, well, perhaps she hasn’t)