Three Poems

Piggly Wiggly

Checker is beautiful
dark, shiny hair

      —Herbert Scott, “Groceries”

When we ran short on community pride
as occasionally happened
we could always turn to our local treasure
Hooter Hagins who we all knew
without more than minimal doubt
was quite possibly the finest
grocery checker in the history of the universe

she hated algebra even more
than the rest of us in high school
for her it wasn’t even the teacher
Mr. Tittle’s breath that wilted plastic flowers
she hated writing out the formulas
with the transferring pluses and minuses
when she could do it in her head
like she thought anybody
ought to be able to
with any modicum of sense at all
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