Wednesday, December 5, 2007




They stroll with hands entwined,
their wide-brimmed, white-cotton hats
tilted to block out slanting sun.
Once there, a striped green-and-white awning
creates cool shadows
amidst shafts of hazy gold light.
Guitars strumming from speakers,
drown humming fans.
Ropes of scarlet garlic are hung
with thickly strung maroon peppers
from hooks in the ceiling.

With patient care they choose
smooth, unblemished honey-sweet apples,
then push their cart past
a pony-tailed mother
in a tennis dress,
herding children.
The youngest, she guesses,
is the age of
their granddaughter.

Over her Ben-Franklin glasses,
her eyes dart here and there
like a hummingbird's
through the cool, fragrant, shadowy air.
She drinks in the stained-glass-colors
of bins of dried fruits -
sun-flushed apricots,
crimson cranberries,
sees this store as a work of art.

He halts
by the greens - lettuces,
broccoli, endive, pungent basil -
and ambers - mushrooms,
tiny as matches,
big as tortillas.
He takes deep breaths
of the woodsy coolness.

Carefully, they choose
makings for their feast -
portobello mushrooms,
baby spinach -
then head home,
holding each other's
dear hands,
as pink clouds
fade to gray.

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