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Barnes and Noble

by Ken Harnisch

Lost in the aisles, as is my way
And absorbed so in the anthology
When I felt her presence by my arm
The girl there smiling back at me
Frost, she said, her brilliant teeth
Flashing at me as I read
You like him, I take it, she added then
Me, I prefer Dickinson instead
I merely grunted, knowing not
What the script would have me say
She smiled again and brushed my arm
To see what poem was read that day
“The Mending Wall,” she said to me
Good choice, although I’ve always said
They don’t emphasize it near enough
“The Road Less Traveled,” is the one instead
Or. ”… Snowy Evening,” I ventured then
You know, the woods that stand there dark and deep
The horse that gives his bells a shake
The miles to go before I sleep
She sent me back a puzzled glance
And I knew to stop my witty post
She then said, I always wondered
If he liked Mending Wall the most
He seemed so cold, the flinty type
And I could see him behind a wall
And I wonder what he meant by that
If good neighbors aren’t always all
The kind you keep out, not in
So they won’t infringe upon your life
Or in, not out, I quick replied
Where they can internalize the strife
That’s eating them, but saving you
From their secret grief and wild lament
She thought it over, before she smiled
You got a point there, is what she said

Later, when the minutes passed
She came upon me in the aisle
Saw the volume of erotica in my hand
And gave me such a wicked smile
Well, well, she said, you get around
Laughing, shaking her pretty head
And I just grinned and took a breath
“You are what you read,” I glibly said.

01/20/2002

Posted on 01/20/2002
Copyright © 2021 Ken Harnisch

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Agnes Eva on 04/17/03 at 10:19 PM

heheh, nicely done conversation in poematic form. you've captured well the secret meaningful speak of chance encounters

Posted by Sandy M. Humphrey on 02/06/09 at 02:42 AM

I just happened along this one as B&N is one of my fav's and my the chance encounters are interesting but I haven't yet had one quite like this. Need to quit reading Dr. Suess and go to the grown up books I guess. smh

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