The cream Seville rotates clockwise, the steady secondhand, in the corner of my eye,
cutting inches from my passenger side door and the oblivious boy in the booster eating Goldfish.
Another full three minutes to adjust her things, thirty seconds to open the wing of a door.
A cropped white head, wire frames, a faintly discernable smile unable to lift the pleats of skin.
The boy unbuckles, pounces my arm rest, begs water, a toy, attention.
His sister squirms in her harness, cries for release.
She has begun the trek across two rows of cars to the elevator.
She is yellow and gray and pressed like a woman who has time to iron, who cares to.
The bags of routine hang from her elbow, unmoved by her steps.
The phone bings. The sister throws her cup.
I collect the trappings of snack, brief the boy on library protocol,
fumble for my Chapstick, brush my hair with my fingers.
She pulls the massive glass door to the elevator with every fluid ounce
of graceful determination, waits, then steps silently into the lift and out of my sight.
And I wonder if, when she was thirty, she ever wanted just one moment of