The woman in the supermarket
Each Saturday I see you,
In the breakfast cereal aisle
sometimes perusing the cleaning products.
Each week I ask, who are you?
Why do you appear so detached?
A picture of concentration,
Shopping list in one hand,
The rickety trolley guided by your other hand;
A hand devoid of rings.
You are not an old woman
I suspect forty?
Maybe I am wrong,
I will never know.
I speculate that you are a woman suffering.
Why else would you appear each week?
Your mouth as tight as a chooks bum,
Your gaze away from mine
Never engaging away in a world of your own.
I wonder what it is that bothers you.
A lost love, a lost child, rejection, frustration, desolation.
I watch you returning to aisles already passed,
Like you want the experience to last.
I’ve seen the diet coke, the butter, the whole meal bread, the fruit and vegies.
Who are you feeding?
Is someone missing you during this time out?
Is there anyone there for you when you return?
What pleasures are in your everyday?
Are you an anal person,
Dogged in detail?
Intent on getting things done your way and your way only?
Do you insist that ‘H’ is pronounced ‘aitch’ and not ‘huaitch’?
Do your toilet rolls hang correctly from the top?
Do you hang your washing with matching coloured pegs?
Do you iron your pyjamas?
I ask these questions
For I may never have the courage to speak with you.
Though I wonder, could I be brave?
Could I say: Hello, how is your day?
These things I have wondered.
I know I’ll look for you….