is full of surprises, my gray-haired friend. Our lunch date
turns into an unexpected drive to the headlands, with folding
chairs in tow. Her brown paper bag holds sandwiches and
chips . . . and plastic baggies and plates for gathering
gemstones. She shows me how to scoop up the coarsest sand
from along the tide line and swirl it in the plate, winnowing
small treasures from the sea. Perhaps it is the crashing
surf and seagull cries, the stuff of New Age music, that
brings to mind her hippie days. Remembrances of "catching"
babiesdozens of them. I am astonished. "Girls
wanted to have their babies at home," she says. "I
was good at it. I could turn them with my hands."
the midwife holds carnelians
up to the sun