Poemdog

Dogs 2019

SOON, VERY SOON
(7/6/19)


usual
Saturday
pre-work

early morning

grocery run
for food
for the coming
week
at the office

I maneuver
about the store
fairly quickly

avoiding
the stockers

the cleaners

the overnight
straighteners

weaving
my way
toward
the needed
aisles

the downside
of this time
of day
is only
one cashier

self-checkout
not yet open

I get stuck
behind
some old guy

well

maybe 5
10 years
older
than me

he's fumbling
through his
cart

wanting certain
items in plastic

others
in paper

he drops
things

seems
to forget
in mid-movement
what
he's doing

this
is agony

I just
want
to get
to work

do my
thing

now
he's not sure
how to work
the payment
keypad

she reaches
over the counter

points out
what
to do

sad look
upon
her face
for an elderly
customer

finally
he's paid

and after
many adjustments
to his load

is clear
of checkout

"plastic
please"

I hand
her
my discount
card

insert
credit card
into reader
ready to press
the appropriate
selection

last item
rang up

I click
the payment
pad

accept
my receipt

simultaneously
grabbing the bags
with the same
hand

extracting
my car keys
from a pocket
with the
other

done
in about
a minute
and a
half

walking
smartly
to the exit

a model
of efficiency

"sir?"

I stop

turn

see her
point
to my credit card
still sticking out
of the terminal

giving
me the same
sad look
that she
gave
that other
old man

I had
fooled
no one

not even
me
this time