he never saw her dancing

It was almost eleven o’clock at night,
and she was at the grocery store with her dad.
We had just picked up bananas and clementines
and were headed out,
when they passed us coming in—
all of us walking that aisle perpendicular to the cash registers,
produce off to one side,
the aisles extending down the other.

But they must have decided to divide and conquer,
because she came back our way,
coming up alongside us,
and out of the corner of my eye,
as she turned into aisle 13,
I saw her arms rise above her head—
the same motion lifting her up on her toes
and spinning her into pirouettes
through the pickles and olives, the oils and vinegars,
the peanut butters and jellies.

What a gift to me,
and to her dad,
who never saw her dancing
on a late night grocery store run
with him.


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