K.T Williams


To the elderly gentleman in Walmart today
I’m sorry
I’m sorry for starring
There was nothing on your face; not even a crumb from your lunch,
Or a hair out of place.

You did nothing to elicit my attention.
But your spectacles
tucked in your shirt pocket,
They whispered his name
Until I couldn’t ignore them any longer

The worn out watch on your left wrist
With dents on the side of the brown leather
Ticked in my ears
Marking each minute I wasted with him

With your Marlboro cigarettes sitting
Comfortably in the pocket of your baby blue shirt
Deja vu kicked me in the stomach
As my memory dragged me back
To the wooden swing on grandma’s front porch
My lungs filled with the smoke of his morning cigarette

Although there was not a hair out place
I couldn’t help myself
From starring
From wanting to run a comb through your hair
As I did his years ago

Wild Country
His aftershave
He religiously bathed his face in
It comforted me
Caressing me in familiarity

To the stranger I met in Walmart today:
I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable
But I am thankful for your kindness
For the warm smile on your face
And for the sweet, sweet memories you allowed me to relive
If only for ten minutes in the checkout line