She had

very little

in her cart

and she was

poking at pockets

searching for papers

and coins

in her wallet

and robbing me

of my time

when a plastic

accordian of photographs

fell to the conveyor belt

and I noticed a snapshot

of her with a man

they were smiling

he had his arm around her

and she showed the cashier

who said something

and touched her



then she unloaded

her basket and

she had

a bouquet

of carnations and daisies

a steak

two tomatoes

a head of lettuce




ear of corn

and I suddenly felt ashamed

and I wondered

if she noticed

and she looked at me

full of sorrow

knowing I knew

at once,

She had.