I thought I saw you from behind, coming out of the market yesterday, your right arm full of spring’s first blooms (which I imagined you’d be arranging on your mantle later this afternoon).

Your left arm was also laden down: a tote bag filled with last month’s New Yorker magazines, and a reusable grocery sack stocked with sparkling pomegranate juice, brie and crackers, green grapes (and maybe some celery and a roast chicken).

I followed behind your familiar, slightly stooped gait. Your scarf was askew, your short brown curls tousled by the early spring wind. (I also thought I heard you humming a blues riff I couldn’t place.)

But I didn’t stop you.

I didn’t stop you so that you could ask me kind, intuitive questions about my work, my family, my son.

I didn’t stop you to hear your laugh like lemonade and apple pie on a June Sunday.

I didn’t stop you to compare notes on the bagels at Zabar’s, the early cherry blossoms in Central Park, the political fiascos of the current primary election season.

No, I didn’t stop you. I merely suffered my delicious joy: imagining you, for one perfect moment, wholly and blazingly alive again, charging into the crowd on Broadway, cheerily retreating from us, and on to the next adventure.