brought me to the grocery store
at dawn's break.
Newsreels, infection rates,
ICU lineups and long waits
meant that online purchases ain't efficient anymore.
Delays were imminent.
But I hadn't noticed any of it.
My virtual cart could be picked up a week from now,
but we were out of milk somehow.
So that guy seems real upset pacing up and down
the sidewalk, shaking his head, making me anxious-
posing in front of the exit, waving his arms like hailing a cab,
and spitting mad.
Barking to no one and everyone in line,
his muttering distractions made eyes look to mine.
The guy steps in close- litigates and reiterates-
o'clock doesn't mean what it used to be.'
My watch showed 8:03.
And i could see
inside the store, employees stacked, cleaned, and chopped.
While outside, a small clutch of early risers wonders about when they can shop.
8:05, the door opens.
A teenage gatekeeper struggles to smile and says 'cmon in'.
As the line files through,
some offer clever counsel at the indifferent interloper who
listens patiently to
the grumbles of 'next time' and 'my time' and 'wasted time'.
Those chronic rhymes
are a clear sign
really is not what it should be.
But the thing about time
is that you have to stall on a fine line
and that essence
to feel any ownership of the current tense,
means noticing that as the staff member scrolls backwards, i stroll forward fast
into my present and by then i am already in her past.