She chances upon him
in the dairy section of the seven-eleven,
his dark thick hair now thin and grey.
Soiled clothes hang on him,
like filthy drapes in a bordello.
She would have known him anywhere.
He'd left her with two toddlers,
no explanation, no note, just gone,
forcing her to raise them as a single mom.
She corners him by the ice cream freezer,
before he takes notice.
"I thought you'd bin dead fer a long time!" she said.
"How cud you just go?"
His eyes focus
on the foot-soiled hardwood floor
with the square cut nails.
"It was too much," he said.
"The cryin',the screamin', the whinin.'
I couldn't sleep. I couldn't tink.
I was gonna hurt one o yuh."
Her voice breaks,
"I dreamt of seein' you again,
and pullin the trigger 3 times, once
for each of the kids and once for me.
They growed up with no father,
or was you too lit up to know?"
He does not answer. A bead of sweat
drips off his nose as she humphs in disgust.
She waits, looking away toward the coffee bar,
then glimpses movement out of the corner
of her eye as he sidles past to make his escape,
once more without looking back.