With a shake of the head she says neither of us
should be there.
Then we hear the world take a breath.
We answer with one of our own.
One of our potentially toxic breaths.
And we accidentally touch our eyes and forget not to rub our noses.
Should I have touched the handle of the cart?
My purse was on the counter.
Snakes hiss as we leave with our nonessentials.
It’s a judgmental world.
People will shame you for buying a bouquet to be delivered to your
Eighty-year-old mother these days.
Necessity insists on protocol.
We keep each other in line with reprimands on Facebook,
Reminders on Twitter.
But no matter. Grandma won’t get the virus from the delivery man
Because they closed all the florists just two days before her birthday
Just in time to rescue her
From death by dusty yellow stamen and blue hyacinth petals.
That was a close one.
We almost got beauty to her.
But instead, there will be another safe day without lilies,
Essential or not.