Adjusting to life's changes with hope… through poetry, haiku, and commentary

Odds and Ends No. 34


It is going on 18:00; a little late for
espresso, but it seemed like a good
idea at the time. Not quite cool, as

I’ve been sipping it for a while. It
is fresh ground espresso, but I made
a mug of coffee with hazelnut

creamer. My focus was off today. My
thought life was atrocious. So, I was
determined to make the espresso.

Driven was more like it. Frustrations
of my life slammed coffee stuff around
like a berserk barista. One extra scoop

for good measure! I made a grocery run;
the store was packed. If you normally
don’t fidget what does it mean when

you do? I started to fidget in a very
long, very slow checkout line. My
regular cookies weren’t on the shelf.

Just before that, the beef bologna
wasn’t in its normal spot. I looked
for a longtime. I approached the

worker to my left, “Hi, how ya doing
today?” He turned, grinned, and
said loudly, “Excellent!” “Good.

Maybe it moved or I missed it but
the beef bologna is usually there.”
I pointed. He stroked his chin,

“Ya know. You are right.” He
patiently looked through about
three rows of packages. He found

one. “You don’t need more than
one, do you? I think that’s the last
one.” He handed it to me. I checked

the expiration date, “No. One is
great! Thanks.” My olives had
sale tags; her cereal had a sale

tag. I put a big bag of organic
carrots she wanted in the cart.
It felt like a small bag of kindling.

One or two more things and I was
done. To checkout. They needed a
traffic cop. Crazy. As I looked at

all the people and the checkers,
I felt like I was in a segment from
“Resident Evil” surrounded by the

walking dead. No pistol. No shotgun.
Just me and my cart. That must have
been when I started getting fidgety.

I was hoping the guy in front of me
with the bulging neck wouldn’t
turn around. I was sure he didn’t

have a face. He was all neck with a
1950’s buzz cut. I had to make it to
the cashier portal or I was doomed.

“Do you want this in a bag?” I knew
it. If I answered wrong, she would
close the portal and I’d be wandering

this store for eternity. I bit my lip.
“No. No bag for that. Thanks.” She
smiled. The next thing I knew, I was

in the car. I always try to park near
one of those cart returns to make it
easier. I was way out there today.

Fidgets cause of no lunch? I ate when
I got home. One sandwich. Bologna,
thin Pepper Jack, with butter instead

of mustard. And three olives. A mug of
Irish Breakfast. I decided to calm down
by reading my old favorite Streams in

the Desert for today. It was written by
a poet who died in 1927. I couldn’t find
her; but her words to be joyful and

remember that God lives brought me
back to center. (Garage door going up.
She is pulling in. Time to go.)

The espresso helped. But her poem
helped me more today. As a young girl
around 1870 or so, what she knew to

be true, she shared with me today.
I’m grateful. True then; true now.
Peace flooded over me. And over her.

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