I try not to stare.
He walks down every aisle,
black Oxfords clicking,
carefully considering the soups,
spices, bulk items,
tracing his fingers over words
“gluten-free” and “high-fructose corn syrup”
from a language he never learned.
He’s been coming for two weeks now
each morning around eight
before the crowds arrive.
He doesn’t shop long, always leaves
with only a few items: wasabi peas,
chocolate milk, a loose carrot.
I don’t ask where he’s been, only:
“Did you find what you were looking for?”
He smiles knowingly with dark eyes,
his hair shined, curled smooth.
When I pass him his change,
he thanks me very much, and this time
I can’t help but watch his hips slide
as he disappears through automatic doors.
Katherine (Kat) Van Eddy is a California-born poet living in Orting, Washington with her husband, two young children and a cat. She earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a master-of-arts in elementary education, and she taught for three years before staying home to raise her kids. Her poems have appeared in Crosscurrents (University of Puget Sound) and more recently, here on Creative Colloquy. She also works part-time at the YMCA, is a consultant with Usborne Books and enjoys running.