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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Doris Lynch

Enumerating Clouds

Lately, I’ve been counting acts of kindness. Mine, and especially, those of others. Today, a lady at a gas station on the interstate charges me nothing for a cup of tea. And two small children, candy clutched in their chubby hands, motion me to go first. Staring intently, the younger one presses a chocolate bar to her nose as two small fingers poke at the shiny wrapper.

“It’s tea,” I tell the clerk. “Not coffee. What do I owe you?”


“No really,” I said. “How much?”

“Free,” she says cheerfully. “Today it’s free.”

As I glide to the bottom of the entrance ramp on I-39, two semi-drivers and even a band of helmetless motorcyclists signal then swerve left. With the tea steeping beside me, I shift into third, fourth, and finally fifth gear.

over the highway pink clouds drift
song pours from a passing van