>stepping out for lunch


I overheared two elderly men at the counter talk about remembering what the yellow light means. Moments like that make me want to stop and step backwards — listen for a little more.
They must be joking, I thought. Who among us doesn’t know what the yellow light means. It fits between stop and go.
I kept on walking, wondering as I exited the building if either men had driven here. Hopefully by the time they had to drive home, they would both remember yellow.
I don’t want to forget what yellow means.
I took my Irish-worries and my mother’s-doubts and sat down by the river. When is it that we get old? I asked the only bird floating in the drift.
When I went back to work, the men were gone. One had driven the other home, the people at the counter informed me.
Why was that, I asked.
The man in the red shirt owns the Buick parked outside- its check engine light was on.

About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

5 responses to “>stepping out for lunch

  1. >It's all about the context, Sherry. Jim from the Truth About Lies in a recent post, presents a youtube about this topic. In the first scene we see a man running along a veranda. He seems agitated and fearful. We might even feel some sympathy for him. In the next scene we see the man from behind. We now see that he is running towards another man. We now see that he is about to accost this man. He runs into him and we are left most feeling some anger towards this seemingly aggressive man. In the final scene, taken from further away, we see that the brick structure above the man seemingly under attack is about to crumble down on top of him. Suddenly our attacker has become a hero. A yellow light to one can be a different yellow light to another. Here is Australia we do not refer to the middle light on traffic signs as yellow, we call it orange or amber. So when I first read the words 'yellow light' here, Sherry, I thought of the light at twilight. So many possible meanings. Thanks for an enchanting and thought provoking post.

  2. >Yellow has been my favorite color in the middle of my life!

  3. >elisabeth-i'll hunt down that youtube video. it's a good reminder to me that what i hear/see is not necessarily true. also- when we see people seemingly content with life, we don't know what is going on beneath the surface. i caution myself to slow down and consider more deeply.hi kathleen,funny you should say that! i've always been a "red" girl and then after that "black". but for the past two years, without thinking about it i choose yellow again and again. we should meet up one day and figure this out together over a cup of uh…(i was going to say yellow tea)…but maybe green tea sounds better.

  4. >i just love this post! how funny and sweet and mindful!

  5. >I love this post too! A piece, really. So lovely! I had the same thought as Elisabeth, above; when I read "yellow light," I didn't automatically think of a traffic light. I call it orange. 🙂

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