My nose feels itchy, runny, my breath short and damp,
beneath this face mask I’m required to wear,
as I run up and down the aisles in Winn Dixie,
searching for my yogurt, strawberries, blueberries,
his English muffins, butter, cream cheese . . .
Hello to my Neighborhood,
I read on my iPhone, as I wait in line to pay,
my new puppy is lost.
I look up and am surprised to see
a cute and cuddly one,
straining on a long leash, right there
among the fruits and vegetables.
What now? I wonder.
Lock your cars at gas stations!
Purse, phone stolen.
I shake my head and continue
to skim and scroll.
Lost dog seen on NE 29th Avenue.
At least it’s not the one in here,
now nosing at the breads.
But is this the searched for new puppy?
Caught in the ’hood of the lost and found?
The checkout line is long.
Like currents of barely perceptible air,
impatience billows in and out
of covered mouths, and shows all too well
in the eyes of those who scrutinize
the shopping carts in front of them,
in silence and toe-tapping,
the time it will take
before it’s their turn to pay.
Two Good Samaritans drag a sleeping,
homeless man from the busy,
trafficked intersection at Federal
and Oakland Park Boulevard.
A shiver runs down my spine and
suddenly, my nose is even itchier,
my breath way shallower.
Is it a mouse or a rat?
Below this photograph,
a question for the community to ascertain.
Pickle breath more my game.
Though certainly not the best
to wake up to in the morning.
One cart ahead of me now. Only half-filled.
Out of nowhere, I’m remembering
how I’d swayed and sung along
to the classic rock songs
Zuckerello's, the restaurant, blared
out to the sidewalk, as we waited
for our $8.95 take-out dinners to arrive,
and the music to free long-lost memories.
Or was it simply my yearning
for those care-free,
more expensive days,
only weeks ago?
Interesting movie—Dark Waters.
Will have to check IMDB later for its rating.
For now, I put my phone away,
say hello to the cashier,
crinkle my eyes into a smile,
and begin to unload my hardly filled cart
of items onto the moving belt.
As I walk half the Galt Mile to my building—
a plastic shopping bag gripped in each hand,
my nose and mouth
happily exposed, once again,
to the salty spray of ocean air—
a helicopter chops back and forth
over the clear, blue-green waves slapping
white foam onto the sandy beach,
where people, and even cute dogs,
are still forbidden to go . . .