Checkout line


Midday crowd at the local grocery

I’m grabbing ambrosia

And nondairy ambrosia flavoring

Today I decide on caramel macchiato

I’m in no hurry so I people watch

An early 30s gentleman

Whose two young sons

Are far too well behaved

I imagine favorite toys held hostage

In a skeleton key, locked closet

A mother with two daughters

In the produce section

The eldest daughter, around eight

Asks if they can have kale again, for dinner

The younger sister, gleefully agrees

Till this day I have no explanation

Aliens, maybe?

On my way to the checkouts

I watched two little old ladies

Greet each other so warmly

They were genuinely happy

To see each other

I had mixed emotions about this

On one hand I was envious

I wanted that kind of friendship

Instead of my typical introverted

Playing at being excited to interact

With people out in public

On the other hand

I began wondering

Do we begin truly valuing life

When we must surely witness death

On a much more frequent basis

Maybe they were close

Maybe they were simply happy

To be given a chance to see each other

When they didn’t know if they would ever

Get that opportunity  again

I don’t know

If I’m ready

For that



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