Slender, neatly trimmed beard,

freshly ironed shirt,

Ph.D. eyes and deadpan face,

he moves continuously,


with a shaggy wet mop

and metal bucket

on spinner wheels

over muddy linoleum squares

up and down aisles

at the supermarket in a ski town,

scrapes up boot-crushed berries,

wipes spills and spittle,

erases black marks with the toe

of his right sneaker


He’s the same man in a ball cap

I stand behind today

at the post office

where he buys money orders

to mail to Mexico


There is an elegance

to his signature on the form

and the deep story lines

at the corners of his eyes

that lift in a flourish

as he writes