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For Lynda

On the Green Concourse, around the corner
from the news-clerk who said
"just around the corner" as if I lived there--
a Starbucks, and the African woman
behind the counter who asks
if I like ice in my water and smiles
and smiles again when I say yes, a smile
for no reason but to smile--she's happy--
or because I am and she can tell,
and the man in dreadlocks
behind the case of new-baked muffins--
crusty caps smothering pleated cups--
poppyseed, blueberry, bran, and thick flaky
scones, and above, the list
of coffees I'm way too inelegant to buy--
snazzy ones that people order
in java-tongues of milk and bean--so I
always get the daily roast in tall
that tastes just fine and this morning,
with an expense account and feeling
consequential (I'm off to read in Lansing)
I buy a blueberry scone
and an apple-walnut muffin, and squeezing
the brown-becoming-greasy paper bags
and the coffee cup spurting coffee
from the little hole, and a water cup,
I walk the concourse
to the commuter gates and eat, glad
I'd planned on Starbucks, since we haven't one
at home, while DC-9's and Saab 340's
and Dash 8's come and go as it is clear
and new, visibility infinite, and the sun
turns neon the reds and grays of rudders
and tails and it's good to be away,
though it is warming up in Fargo, and over
Wisconsin, with the back row, bus-like
seats to myself, I get the whole
Mott's Apple from the flight attendant
and I'm not in love with her, but if I was
young, when love was easy--at least
the saying so--I might just say
I was, I feel so good right now.

--by Bill Snyder Fargo, North Dakota

© 1999
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