grocery list

the woman in the line-up
wonders if her husband
is having an affair

if she has the energy
to get to aerobics

if her teenage daughter
will ever smile again

she flips through the tabloids
and decides to dye her hair
sign up for pilates
put new carpet down in the hall

I want to touch this woman
gently, where there is no pain,
place a lawn chair
in the afternoon light,
offer her a few hours alone

I want the sun to glint off
the silvery threads in her hair,

to infuse her body with warmth

I want to take the frozen honey-
glazed doughnuts
set them back on the shelf,

tell her she is beautiful.

© Annabelle Jane Murray