A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Driving home in the cold rainy dark still pissed at some colleagues, I decided to stop and pick up my shirts at the cleaners. The place was empty. I tapped the bell. Out of the rack room a young woman came. When she looked at me, her eyes widened . . . . I’d never seen her before. She had on earrings like wind chimes, like the ones my dad made and hung from an oak branch next to our house—fine tunes when a breeze touched them off. I gave her my ticket. When she returned with the shirts, her cheeks were shiny with tears. I’m sorry,she said, but you look just like my father. He died last month. She found her cellphone and showed me a photo that looked as if I’d taken a selfie. I’d heard about doubles, but never believed. I said I was sorry. She came from behind the counter and quickly gave me a hug. When another customer came in, she dried her eyes, and said: I’m so glad you picked up today . . . . I am too, I thought, stepping outside, no longer angry at colleagues or the cold rainy dark.
Peter Makuck (born 1940) is an American poet, short story writer, and critic. He was the founding editor of the journal Tar River Poetry. He lives with his wife, Phyllis, on Bogue Banks, one of North Carolina’s barrier islands. His many books include Mandatory Evacuations (BOA, 2016)
Copyright 2019 Peter Makuck