It was magic in the Orange Groves
Where the air was soft and sweet and the view was ripe with rain and cloud and promise
Lush with hope
Round with love
Brimming with whimsy.
It was real and wonderful. Almost loud in its perfect quiet. One voice in its hushed, hushed tones.
Stepping down from the hill, from the hidden magic,
I find myself disappointed in finding where the sidewalk begins again.
Disillusioned Dorothy, Alice or Cait
All wandering back to obligatory reality, not entirely prepared or entirely enthralled.
Joseph gets into his Uber, his heavy cologne lingering long after he’s gone.
A small, green bag of turd is tucked behind the bricks of a short garden wall.
Graffiti colors local garbage cans and street poles, uninvited and unappealing.
This is the daily. The lackluster reluctance called toil and tears, the flavorless swansong.
But the Orange Groves are still there. Still hidden in the Hillside, still pronouncing magic in waves of rain and chainlink fence and rusty hands and small signs of life in the valley below.
And the daily still is littered with magnolia blooms, with chance encounters with friendly elderly neighbors and well-meaning city street service maintenance men warning against the dangers of top-heavy, leaning trees in the street. With rain-soaked heliotrope roses and the many, many puddles reflecting light.