Ten.Four Hundred & Forty-One

1. I forgot a card. And wrapping paper. 

2. She wakes and we get to work on the waffles. Strawberries and fresh whipped cream. She asks for a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Happy Birthday.  

3. I sit and drink one cup slowly. I put a spoonful of cream in it. Oh, this is good.  

4. 10 am. Now to begin. 

5. It doesn’t matter how much time I think I have, I always end up sweaty. The both of us do. We meet in the garage, sweaty and tired. 

6. It’s hot in the sun but cool in the shade. Almost perfect.  

7. I miss this street. The maples are already losing leaves. Leaves on fire. Sidewalk aflame.

8. But will they set?

9. Kitchen torch magic. Sugar crust. She taps her spoon against the sugar. “That’s a good shell,” she says. I think that’s something Mary Berry must have said.  

10. A quiet but very good Birthday, I hope. She is so much of me which is both a blessing and a curse.