Douglas McHargue, Sugar

Douglas Anne McHargue

I get in my car,
day after Christmas
budget blown
but leaving Happy Dollar,
woman parked
by the drink machine,
Oh ma’am
Do you have a dollar
She’s not young,
the man beside her
old, in a suit
maybe can’t walk
so I go over
they need a soda
and do I have a cup.

I have no cup
but spare change
and desire to get
back on the road
go home, anywhere
but here
and she asks
Do you have sugar.

Packets of sugar, you mean
I ask. Oh, no, your feet
they looked swollen,
straps on my shoes
cutting into my arch
she said like her sister’s,
She got sugar.

Sugar, oldtimers’ for diabetes.
I say No, head for my car
making time.
She goes to the machine
wearing a dress and slow shoes,
sweetness freefalling
through her veins,
not mine.


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