Poemdog

Dogs 2016

PROBABLY NOT STALKED
(1/1/17)

I notice
her first
in fresh foods

a very
naturally beautiful
woman

perhaps
20 years younger
than me

I glance
at her
while choosing
apples

she hovers about
with no seeming
purpose
to her movements

wandering
from fruits
to vegetables
and back
again

apples
in my
basket

a few
bananas

I head
through the rest
of the huge
store

catching glimpses
of her red coat
from time to time

she seems
oblivious
although always
near
to me

at the opposite
end
of the building
I feel someone
behind me
as I browse
the vitamins

I turn

there
she is
again

we are
the only two
in the section

I mumble
"mornin'"

she smiles

walks on by
in silence

coincidence

I assume

a ridiculous
fantasy
of an aging
man

I am certain

at the
the checkout stand
I wait for the one
other customer
in front of me
during this less
than busy
early weekend
morning

that's why
I'm here
now

fewer people
with whom
to deal

finally
it's my turn

I exchange
the usual meaningless
pleasantries
with the cashier

plastic
is fine

yes

as my purchases
are scanned
someone
comes up
behind me
in line

it's her
yet again

I look
around

this is
the only
checkout lane
open
this time
of day

where else
would she
be?

she has
two bottles
of nonalcoholic
champagne

some chips

crackers

gearing up
for a New Year's
party
no doubt

a party
girl

a sober
party girl
apparently

I teeter
upon the line
dividing silence
from a question
about her
festivity

I quickly
mentally progress
down the ladder
of consequences
of trying to keep
a younger woman
happy again

I failed
so miserably
in previous
attempts

I remain
my usual
quiet self

bags in hand
I walk
to the exit

get my
quiet self

my groceries
into the car

as I drive
away
I see her standing
in the parking lot
perhaps
20 yards away

watching me

having
already made
that decision
I turn right
onto the
avenue

looking
at her
in the rear
view

still
standing
there

still
watching

what
does it
mean?

I am confused
by these things

uncomfortable

always
have been

luckily
I can simply
write
about her

file her
away
in a past
of little
regret