“A Night in California” by Ayesha F. Hamid

The streets are wide, everything is green,
floating in the air, a pervading sense of peace.

I stand in your villa, an open expanse
everywhere the eye can see.

I stroll through open avenues,
I stroll with you, the owner of all this beauty.

Leaving the parameters, we walk down the street,
the breeze is just right as flowers fall delicately,
pink and white among the lush green.

As we turn the corner, a store surfaces
with everything we need
while neighbors smile warm smiles,
chatting with us in Spanish.

We head back, enter through the gates,
returning to finish with preparations
as guests wait.

You’ve worked this day like every other,
so strong, so brave, even on your wedding day.

I guide you to the veranda where we sit
for a second, remembering everything that
brought you to this moment. Then, your façade fades,
so you admit that life has been difficult,
but I hold out my hand, help you up,
and send you on your way.

The sun goes down as I join the crowd.
The cool breeze touches my face as I wait
for you to take the stage.

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