Tambourines no longer clash

against her hips


Gone are the dreadlocks, scarlet headband,

jangling earrings, playful mouth


Shed of flowing white robes

she marches into the restaurant

in fitted designer suit,

briefcase in right hand,

seats herself business-like,

checks the time on her dazzling

silver and gold bracelet watch


I ignore her rehearsed entrance

by glancing at the menu,

picture the bountiful afternoon

at the little shop by the river,

the chubby gnome who engraved

our special tattoo on her inner thigh,

kept us laughing with his naughty needle,


and wonder how in the few short years

since I last saw her

she could become so old so young,

sell out so fast