Falling Into Life;… Without Warning

I am in my neighbourhood grocery store, and
I go to the line with my regular check-out clerk.
Today she looks drawn, thinner
We chat about the usual old stuff
The weather
“Will it ever warm up?”
Or conversely,
“Will it ever stop snowing?”
The price of gas
“Outrageous”
My face asks a question
“It’s my husband, he’s ill,” she says.
The words tumble out now,
fast and furious- worries and concerns about him- and then stop.
“Would you like carry-out with that?” she asks
Would I like carry-out?
I would like carry-out!
Carry out her husband’s illness and her pain and fear
That’s what I would like to see carried out!
Instead I say,
“No, no carry out, thank-you,”
“No carry out.”

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