Old Woman in a Cuban Bakery

I wait at the far end of the counter,

phone in hand, staring at pixels

that came to me from all over the world.

Annoyed, I flick to the next screen.

These sandwiches are taking forever.

 

A woman dressed in too many layers

for the summer stands beside me.

With that strange sense honed by generations

of evolution, I know she’s watching.

 

I glance up. She smiles, her front teeth

long gone. Uncertain, I smile back.

I think it must be strange for her—

the phones, the internet, the whole damn world.

Does she understand what a marvel it all is?

 

She says, in halting English, “You have pretty

smile. Don’t lose.” Her dark eyes wander

over me. How much have they seen? I realize

she understands exactly what a marvel it all is.

 

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Old Woman in a Cuban Bakery by Coral Moore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.