Graham Duncan

(1923 --)

Wraith In The Checkout Line - Poem by Graham Duncan

I am the wraith.
For a moment I belong
to the woman behind me,
tall, slim, erect,
her face lined, hair gray.
She says, after I turn
to look at her and we both
smile at the cashier's flurry
of beset moves as the line
grows, 'You remind me of my
father, the way you carry

I carry the weightless
burden. She does all the work,
fusing her father's manner
to mine, or mine to his.
I can't help it. I grin.

She sees me as I have seen
my father seated at a bright
window ten years after he died,
embodied by an aging stranger,
there in feature and manner.
I did not speak but know
the impulse, satisfied then
with silence and now
with this shared moment
of stillness
amid the cashier's
frantic ringing up.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 19, 2012

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