My mother is the best shop-mate,
First morning of fall and we survey
The thrift shop, eyes as keen
As hungry pigeons in the
Shopping center parking lot,
We forage for the perfect find.
The building is about as old as time,
Store window facing the road,
My every step calls for a rickety squeak
From dampened corners, musty of mildew,
Dust bunnies fluttering like
The gray ghosts of butterflies.
Two rusty double doors the shop-keepers
sci-fi portal to some vintage paradise.
I smile, thinking this trip deserves a ticket,
Roomful of weird things,
A perfect meeting place for six decades
Worth of discarded memories, mummified.
Somewhere in a dusty drawer
There waits the perfect pair of blue jeans
Yet I sift through a shelf-full of books,
The gift of their reading retired now for years,
And pluck a volume of feminist poems
From its perch of paint chips and old prayers,
A fifty-cent treat to my muse.
Meantime, my mom spins a circular rack of clothing,
A sort of middle age dance of glory,
She thinks she needs another winter sweater.
Out of the corner of my eye
I notice the pale eyes of a mannequin,
She watches us from her shadowed corner perch,
Smiling between her pink 60’s lipstick,
Palms open and raised,
Cheaply dressed news lady reporting cooler days,
Fingers pointing upward,
Metal of her knuckles frozen that way by age
And I imagine her saying,
“Everyone who dies travels north,
Be leery of the freezing rain,Wind-chill nearing zero.”