By Sara Rich
Her walk was brisk as the day was too. The days were so short this time of year, with the shortest of them all only a week away.
Her thoughts were preoccupied elsewhere. As Christmas drew near, and Thanksgiving was over, she felt even more the foreigner, separated by an ocean and three languages from the hot hedge-burning fireplace that kept her family’s ranch house warm during wind-strewn and ice-ridden winters on the Great Plains.
As she walked, the cobblestones closing and counting the distance between her flat and the brick walls of the library, urine-soaked by decades of seven-a.m. drunks, she heard loneliness stumbling along after her, disguised as yellowed leaves whirling toward the backs of her feet.