It's just poetry, it won't bite

Shoppers’ Special

09.26.19 Posted in today's words by

Dawn Leas is a freelance content writer, writing coach, educator, and editor. More of her writing is available at

Shoppers’ Special
By Dawn Leas

The sky is still steel.

Icy puddles dot the mall lot.
Our breath commingles
with morning air.

We huddle hunched over,

collars turned up, gloves on,
backpacks and purses stuffed
for a day trip.A company man in navy pants, starched shirt,
and nylon uniform jacket
stands at the door, clipboard in hand.
As we climb the stairs, he checks off our names,
like he’s counting the days to retirement.

The sun climbs mountain trees.

We doze, work, watch a movie.

Crossing state lines, he navigates
the curves of the Gap,
weaves through construction delays.
He knows all the highway workarounds,
what route to take to slip into the bus lane
wide open all the way through the Lincoln Tunnel.

At corner of 48th & 6th,
he explains one and only rule—
be back at 6:45 p.m.
If we aren’t, we can find our way to Port Authority
and the last bus out at [11:30].

We leave at 7 p.m. sharp.

After a return in rain and fog,
and the end of a 15-hour shift,
he tucks the bus into the barn,
climbs into his Silverado.

Back home, he sits back in his easy chair,
an open bottle of Bud in hand,
reruns of Sanford and Son looping on Nick at Nite.
He opens a second one
because tomorrow is a day off.

A day of rest.

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