A&P

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Oh, the danger!
—a pandemic shopper,
Face masked, faced
With perilous pickings
Grapes, toilet paper, canned
Soup. Careful, sanitizer please!

Too small rubber gloves,
cover sausage-like,
Fingers. He too at risk,
But too stubborn or proud
To admit his own mortality even--
If it kills him.

Couldn’t have sent
his suffering bride
Who on goods days finds
Breathing a chore. Or some punk
kid to shop and buy all
the wrong shit.

Oranges, apples, celery first
Milk, buns, yogurt
Then steaks, burgers, chicken
And cheese; where the hell is
The Miller High Life? The stuff
That’s supposed to be on sale?
An awkward tour of duty.

The old man has a plan
Come hell or flu
He’ll stick to it. Except
For one impulsive tactical detour
To the candy aisle--
a pack of Snickers.

He’ll hide them
In the bottom of some bag
And not say a word
So that when she finds
Them, she will know
he loves her still.

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