In the checkout line at the supermarket
I spot a man I recognize from years ago
when I was in my twenties. Back then
he was the boyfriend of a girl I knew.
They used to skate together at the local mall,
she in one of those red velvet dresses
you’d see in the Ice Capades, her leggings
white and studded with sequins, a tiara
in her tied-back black hair. He wore
ordinary street clothes: bluejeans
and some unremarkable sweater,
which let her stand out even more,
as though she were a woman
a man like him could only
dream into being.

Today he’s stooped and gray.
His raincoat so large, it drapes
over his shoulders making him look
like an afterthought beneath it.
In his shopping cart only milk, eggs.
On the ice he was the one I’d watch,
so unlike other boys, other men.
How unobtrusively he’d glide,
maneuver his partner as though his job
was to appear to disappear beside her.
I wish I could remember his name.

About Andrea Hollander

Andrea Hollander moved to Portland, Oregon in 2011 after many years in the Arkansas Ozarks, where she ran a bed & breakfast for 15 years and served as the writer-in-residence at Lyon College for 22 years. Hollander’s 5th full-length poetry collection, Blue Mistaken for Sky, is due from Autumn House Press in September 2018. Hollander’s many honors include two Pushcart Prizes and two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts. Her website is www.AndreaHollander.net.

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