Two at a Time

motel corner with ginger ale, chair, and lamp, in Perth, Ontario

motel corner with ginger ale, chair, and lamp, in Perth, Ontario

walk the steps
two at a time

more the way you slide along
than the hope you have of staying up

We no longer wait on cannon fire
or the bells ringing in the distance.

Move along
— I stand at the baker’s counter
and point at what I want.
You take the cans from the shelf
put them in a cart
take the boxes from the shelf
put them in a cart
I pull the plastic packs from freezers
put them in a cart

Move along
— I stand at the teller’s window
and pass in my ticket.

Are you checking in or checking out?
The cost to stay or
the cost to leave.

I decided the bannock was the way to go.
I press the dough with my palms
hard against the board.
I nudge and punch the dough with my fists curled
and satisfy the mixture
the flour swells and spreads
breathes a sigh as it slips outward
then thins.
I swipe a slight brush of oil

more the act
than the product.

The beautiful girl
shyly
licks the jam
from her fingers.

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