Seeing Tina in the Produce Section at Safeway by Bob Bradshaw

Seeing Tina in the Produce Section at Safeway

A mini thunder rumbles.
A mist strokes the green onions,
sweeps across the delicate
acreage of parsley,
the lettuce’s skirts,
the cabbage’s stiff petticoats.

Rain is sluicing down outside the store.
Then I see you striding towards me,
beads of water in your hair.

It’s as if you’d dropped out
of a cloudburst.
Only thunder
could introduce you again
into my life. You always preferred
drama to my quiet world
in high school of native
California plants.

I gather myself as the showers
in the spinach abruptly end.
Hi,” you say sidling up,
fingering a scallion.
You look good.

Your glasses perch
atop your strawberry blonde hair,
every strand in place. Mine is as mussed
as a carrot’s. I can’t believe
we dated.

Casually you mention
you’ve just returned
from auditions in L.A.
—and teasing, boast
how your agent’s
created more famous actresses
than my beloved Luther Burbank’s
created varieties
of fruit. Always
the flirt, you

just before Mr. Handsome
approaches, slides his paw
around your waist. You smile,
and the two of you push your cart
out of my life.

I follow, watching.
You turn around, throw me a kiss
just before leaving the store.

I turn my attention back to piling
pyramids of Fuji apples, their faces
as rosy and as luminous
as I remember yours
long ago. I can’t wait to get home
to my lovely wife
and precious baby daughter
to tell them about you.
Ah, I love my small

by Bob Bradshaw

Editor’s Note: The delightful personification and storm imagery adds lightness and amusement to a poem that would otherwise mire the reader in unhappy drama.


3 responses to “Seeing Tina in the Produce Section at Safeway by Bob Bradshaw”

  1. Gail White Avatar
    Gail White

    This reminds me of a poem of my own, written long ago:

    When They Met Again

    He: Bound for brand-new teaching job
    with newly-minted PhD.
    She: Married to a CPA
    and on her second pregnancy.

    Once lovers, met by chance, they chat
    of lives grown prosperous apart.
    Like old unjealous friends, they praise
    their new successes of the heart.

    Each fancies that the other feels
    a lingering flame. Their smiles are sad,
    but both, on going separate ways,
    thank God for the escape they had.

  2. Peter Avatar

    Good poem about a common encounter…thanks.

  3. Bob Bradshaw Avatar
    Bob Bradshaw

    Thanks, guys, for your sweet comments!

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