The Poetic City: “…While Making Groceries at Roberts”

… While Making Groceries at Robert’s             
She was about twenty-five to my seventy when our lives touched briefly. 
Pulling my attention to herself with a tease, 
I heard her say, “You were about to pass me by.”
She said it with a smile that sparkled with a little gold, 
complimented by the red highlights of her perm.
As is often the case, I was looking too far forward and missing the obvious..
There was no one in her checkout lane and she was 
more than happy to lighten my load with a bit of kindness,
humor, and a quick scan of my groceries. 
The banter went back and forth until we were almost done. 
Then she broke rhythm to ask me about my two cartons of soda.
“Are they any good? What do they taste like?” 
I explained that I liked the flavor and the carbonation, 
but I had to get used to a soft drink without anything
to make it sweet. 
She said she liked bubbles in her mouth and looked interested. 
So I offered to give her one… 
She hesitated, smiled shyly, and chose lemon over lime. 
Right then and there, I broke open the package, gave her a can, 
and told her to be sure to drink it cold. 
That was it…
We finished up; she wished me a nice day; and, I responded in kind…
Then I left Robert’s feeling exhilarated at having connected 
with a perfect stranger in a perfect exchange. 
As a friend of mine said, “In this city, if you get on the streetcar at Carrollton and make it all the way to Canal without getting a new recipe, you are not really trying.”


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