Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#419: Express Checkout Girl

She says she wants to die at forty-five,
which after all is twice her age plus one,
and seems eternity. Her race well run
before she's like the old man, still alive
but doddering and helpless, whom she spied
the other day shuffling between the rows
of frozen dinners, veins blue on his nose
and urine down his leg. More dignified
to quit before you get there. I just smile
and pay her for my frozen beef pot pies,
not trying to explain how thirty-eight
will stretch the road for her, adjust her eyes
to look for something more--another mile
to run, in case she missed something. Just wait.

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