Maybe it’s the position of his legs
in his wide stance, I thought.
But surely when he took a step
they would fall to his feet.
There was another explanation.
Standing in line at the local discount store
soymilk, American cheese, bananas,
and a must-have an action figure
in the basket of the cart.
And, a three-foot high head bobbing up and down.
I smile at the blue hairs around me
in the Y-shaped line,
and for no reason at all my eyes fall
at the washed out jeans
of the over-sized teenager
in an adjacent line,
and I wonder what’s keeping them up.
The T-shirt fell just low enough
to conceal the secret,
and my eyes sting from staring.
There was no belt.
The loops could be seen
and this was no false waist.
Then my eyes rise
to the height of the challenge
and I tense and rear back slightly,
almost knocking over a health nut
with nothing but greens, fish and Gatorade.
Fully grown with streaks of gray
and a face rough
with too many years of shaving!
Imagine my surprise!
Yet I continue to stare,
wondering what was hidden there
just above the folded hem.
When he walks, he must waddle, I thought.
Suddenly, without turning around
his right arm lowered and hovered
at the hem and uncomfortably considered
pulling the T-shirt down.
This nervous action
brought me out of my reverie and I relaxed.
I was staring and transmitting
negative messages in thoughts.
My coming-to broke the connection
and he threw discomfort to the winds.
In his mind, I know he said:
“The hell with this – this is my style!
Let them stare.”
After all, isn’t that what it’s all about.
Being different? Being noticed?
So I distracted myself with
the bobbing head and was right again.
The question remained unanswered, though,
and I even forgot to watch if he waddled.