The bottle of pills, with a motion
Practiced, brusque, and eyes
What miracle is this?, I wonder,
As I fail to vacate my place in line.
That for $2.69 I might know peace,
Health, or the promise of same?
Amoxicillin is cheap, she shrugs,
Willing me to close my gaping mouth
And shuffle off before the ninety-ish
Gal behind me might cane-complain.
But wait, I implore. Consider the newborn
Ear, its whorls, its tissue veined through,
Thin as paper, delicate as lace. Or,
Perhaps you don't like babies. I know.
The way the sun makes stripes on the
Sidewalk, in summer: watch, a boy saunters by,
And invents a game, on the square, there.
He hops between the lines, dark, light, dark,
And grins with sudden pleasure. That?
Or... This woman behind me, who's
Fretful and complaining, she once loved
A soldier, see, and each night brushed
Her auburn hair, one stroke for every
Day he'd been away. Will that work?
Drugs are wondrous, and sometimes cheap,
But seeing well and true, well, that's a gift,
A gift that sets you free and flies you home.
I pay my two dollars, my sixty-nine cents.
She takes my cash without a word. I feel old:
Old will scratch a scab. Old will preach wise.
I turn, smiling, to the elderly lady, study such
Thin, blue hair, patches of bald here and there,
Imagine a glossy brown mane, the envy of all.
Because I can;
Because we can.