In the Checkout Line

The clerk and I
Exchange pleasantries
As she passes my groceries by the scanner;
Twenty years ago, in fact,
I taught her English composition,
Was a wonderful teacher
She says — isn’t it a terrible spring?
She says she can remember
Blah blah blah yakkety yackety blooey . . .
My celery, cat food, meat, fruit, bread,
Detergent, deodorant, dish detergent,
Toilet paper, talcum powder, prunes,
Pickles, flour, vitamins, ice cream, milk,
Butter, juice, magazines, personal hygiene pads —
All range before her; now all are packed, tallied,
And I have paid, and I am
Sorting my change
With fingers that seem larger,
Thicker than usual
To put it into my green leather
Change purse
It is a juggling act.

She is quite jovial:
I have teased her as attractive
Mid-thirties checkout clerks
Like to be teased:
We are buddies:
Ex-teacher and
Ex-student.
There is a mutual respect.

Then I hear a sigh from
The guy standing next in line.
I know why:
I have become one of those
Old guys I used to hate
Standing behind.

Time has turned me into
A slow fumbling character
A bemusing being
Soon to be the guy
Who shaves on weekends,
Walks everywhere because
He’s afraid to lose his driver’s licence.

I look at the guy who sighed:
He is in a hurry
Sorry, I say,
I am getting addled,
But spring is coming,
And the flowers will be just behind.

He looks at his watch
And starts flirting with the checkout clerk
Teasing her as attractive
Mid-thirties checkout clerks
Like to be teased.
She blushes and touches her hair.

(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)
FavoriteLoading
Add to favorites

About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
This entry was posted in Creative writing, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to In the Checkout Line

  1. Stephanie says:

    Sorry to spoil the illusion (internationally), but Dad you have always been the sort of person who lingers and jokes (and flirts) with check out ladies: once, much to my chagrin as an embarrassed 13 year old with no time nor understanding of such dad type behaviours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *