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. . . in turn by Jacquie Herz

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 . . .

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