The busy thrift store ladies shuffle
here and there between the stacks of clothes, folding,
talking, slowly creasing pants that smell like cigarettes
and skirts; hands inked in blue veins,
mottled arms and floral shirts.
They mention weather and the paper:
Freddy Thompson passed away I saw
in the obituary yesterday.
Their names will be there soon
for other friends to check,
inked in newsprint captions under black and white:
perms and swinging cheeks and eyes
that have been magnified by glasses
for their blurry sight,
grandchildren and landlines left behind
for someone else to disconnect.
From the other end the news is more like birth:
Here they come! Arriving pink and naked,
angels with balloons all grin for joy
and share cigars if it’s a boy and ask,
How was the trip? What took so long? How are you?
Not bad, they say. There’s lot’s to see and do.