Paul in the Grocery Store Line

Me april 2015.JPG

The picture is my good morning "selfie" to Matt from work. :-) 

Day 2 with the PAD Challenge at Poetic Asides. The prompt is to "write a secret poem. The poem itself could be a secret, or it could be about keeping secrets or, I suppose, not keeping them. Or maybe it’s about a top secret project, or the poem is a riddle with some sort of secret meaning. Or, well, I’ll let you figure out how best to poem secretively."

Here's mine:

Paul in the Grocery Store Line

Parsing through the letter to the church at Ephesus
from Paul, I pull on the tail of each sentence,
unraveling words, loop over loop.  

Right at the start, he hails the Ephesians as
faithful and holy and I wonder at that.
What did it look like?

Did they love each other particularly well? Were
they especially kind? Did people in the
marketplace see them as different?

I imagine Paul standing behind me yesterday in
the grocery store line, secretly watching,
pen and paper ready.

Early morning and only one register open,
my least favorite cashier working -
slippery voice,

thick knuckles, pale spotted hands.  No real reason
to dislike her except she always harangues
me to link my purchases

to a local school so the kids can get a few
extra pennies to buy books or lab
equipment or whatever.
I don’t know why, but I always tell her firmly, “No, thank you.”
and she gives me a look that says I must eat babies
with my breakfast cereal.

It is irrational and hateful - I know this.
I feel meanness rise in the
back of my throat,

heating the sides of my face, burning the tips of
my ears. I see Paul look away, and with
a sigh places his pen slowly

into his shirt pocket, tucks his pad of paper away –
no faithful and holy words
describing me today. 

(The lady is real and I am really this mean. Forgive, Lord.)