Bent over, he’s reeling like a has-been
Southern sheriff and wobbles into Wal-Mart
"for just a couple things" on a gray Monday
afternoon past the dented cars, crushed cups
and homeless shopping carts left for dead
on the outskirts of the mall.
The air, sticky as wet flour, bruised
peaches leak onto his hands.
He shuffles past tenements of papaya stacked
next to purple plums hard as stone.
This still life reflects back at the old man
making his way through onions and rhubarb
and chard and on toward the gallon of whole milk
and, later, four jars of Metamucil before unfolding
ancient paper sacks at the cash register.
Outside behind the steering wheel of my parked car
I wait for dad and write down these lines searching
for some story to tell of shared life, of our love really,
before the wordless drive home, before the slow
veer up the concrete stairs.
updated by @ceri-shaw: 02/17/19 02:30:22AM