I want to grow old with you.
So old we pad through the supermarket
using the shopping cart as a cane that steadies us.
I’ll wait at register two in my green sweater
with threadbare elbows, smiling
because you’ve forgotten the bag of day-old pastries.
The cashier will tell me a joke about barbers as I wait.
He repeats the first line three times
but the only word I understand is barber.
Over the years we’ve caught inklings
of our shrinking frames and hunched spines.
You’re a little confused
looking for me at the wrong register with a bag
of almost-stale croissants clenched in your hand.
The first time I held your hand it felt enormous in my own.
Sasquatch, I teased you, a million years ago.
Over here, I yell, but not in a mad way.
You have a bright yellow pin on your coat that says, Shalom!
Senior Discount, you say.
But the cashier already knows us.
We’re everyone’s favorite customers.
Copyright © 2016 by Ali Liebegott. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 30, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“I worked as a cashier at a grocery store for seven years where we had a senior discount. This discount brought out the good and bad in people. I was newly in love when I wrote this and wanted to imagine me and my girlfriend growing old together being the good kind of customers.”
Ali Liebegott is the author of the novels Cha-Ching! (City Lights, 2013), The IHOP Papers (Carroll & Graf, 2007), and The Beautifully Worthless (Suspect Thoughts, 2005).
Date Published: 2016-08-30
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/senior-discount