The grocery shop is packed with treasures
and I spy on the box of goodies
on the counter next to you
they look delicious and tempting
covered in chocolate with strawberry topping
but with you next to them
dare I touch one?
Paper or plastic, you ask
my fingers point to a paper bag
you pack my bread, cheese, and eggs
your fingers move fast
twelve dollars, you say
your face devoid of any expression
dare I ask why you don't smile?
It's always the same.
whenever I come in
morning, noon, or evening
How's it going? I ask
fifteen dollars, you reply
How's it going? I ask again
good. paper or plastic?
dare I ask what is wrong?
I stand there for a minute.
anything else I can help you with? you ask
I almost smile to hear you say something different
then you turn to the next customer
paper or plastic? dare I ask
do you ever say anything more?
Something meaningful, something inspirational
I shake my head
amazed at your dedication
puzzled at your disposition
marveling at your steadfastness
the same lines, the same action
dare I ask, do you ever get bored?
Author of ‘A Turbulent Mind-My journey to Ironman 70.3’, Swetha Amit is currently pursuing her MFA at University of San Francisco. She is one of the contest winners of Beyond words literary magazine, her piece upcoming in November. She published her works in Atticus Review, Oranges Journal, Gastropoda Lit, Amphora magazine, Grande Dame literary journal, Black Moon Magazine, Fauxmoir lit mag, and has upcoming pieces in Poets Choice anthology, Drunk Monkeys, Agapanthus Collective, and Full house literary. Also, alumni of Tin House Winter Workshop 2022 and the Kenyon Review Writers’ workshop 2022.