A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2007, vol 3 no 2

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Adelaide Shaw



The grocery checker's smile is always there. When it rains or snows; when lines are long and customers cranky; when her hip is aching.

We chat. Weather. Family. Her parents came from a village in Sicily near my mother's village.

One shopping day she's not there. Another week. Still not working.

"She won't be in anymore," the manager says. "Multiple sclerosis."

forecast for snow—
this week the grocery bags
all heavy