A Perfect Ten

I was pushing my mother through the museum complex
While myself on a crutch for my injured knee

This worked fine, inside
But when we got outside to the paved stones
I was having trouble negotiating the pavement

A teenage girl broke away from her pack of friends
Introduced herself
And offered to take my mother around

I was so grateful
But so ashamed, remembering what I had been like at her age
For truthfully
I wouldn’t have even noticed

She walked around, pointing out the local plants and animals
Chatting gently with my mom
Who thought she was just precious

I snapped a photo of the two of them
Before we went back inside

I shook her hand before she went back to her friends
Thanked her
And said to her,
“Young lady, you … are a perfect ‘Ten’.”

She said, “Thank you, sir. But…
What do you mean, exactly?”

“The best kind,” I said, “a ‘Ten’ as in…


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