The guard at the door of the leather
goods store scans the lines of people.
Bags cost more than the woman pushing
the cleaning cart earns in six months.
The salesclerk shows me an orange wallet.
It’s an investment, a must have, something
you’ll keep forever. I don’t want to want it,
but the leather is butter soft, and my phone fits.
I should get rid of my phone. I check it every 10 seconds.
In my old life, I’d plan the day, then wake everyone.
Now, barely out of bed, I’m reading email, news,
ordering groceries. I never have to leave the house.
I walk to the lake to watch summer’s last swans.
An early frost is forecast, but the swans, bright,
like sprigs on spring trees, stay. They know when to go.
A woman and child skip stones on the water.
He asks where swans go when the lake freezes. She says,
The mother, father, and baby swans fly south, where it’s warm.
She zips his jacket and adjusts his cap.
I pull my phone from my wallet to fact check her story.