June 06, 2006

At the Supermarket

Because Mother raised a gentleman,
I try not to laugh at you sitting there
in a puddle of chocolate milk--
dairy-section centerpiece.

Only minutes ago, I saw your same
wide-eyed, gaped-mouth expression
(pain or bewilderment?)
gracing a trout in the seafood case.

Like any gallant knight,
I swallow my smile
(I will not laugh)
and hold out my hand to rescue you.

But you, demure damsel, will have none of that.
My only warning is a blink, as you grasp my hand,
then give a fierce jerk, and reel me in
to land with a wet thump at your side.

I bite my tongue,
taste blood.
But I will not cry--
because Father raised a real man.

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