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
yourself.'

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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