Purveyors of Beauty


Who in the mirror suggests
A grandfather or kindly Dutch uncle
To the world reflects only another
Bewildered life struggling to define
An unsung dependence on symbols
Stories and speechlessness


Making the sharp left turn around
The naval base at Port Hueneme
And setting a westerly course
Along Channel Islands Boulevard
There is a store with its moniker
Scrawled in bold, filigree-style lettering
Across the lawn-like plate glass
Shelves of scissors, sprays and personal
Care products can be seen through the art
Fully obscure windows later
Trying to recall their names and
Wishing my mind could be made as still
As the surface of the sheltered water
Before me a well-groomed gentleman

With spontaneous salt-and-pepper
Hair and matching hounds-tooth coat
Asks if I would like a copy of one
Of his magazines everyone is watching
Something, I think, but senses can
Be deceived, so I come down
From my tower and decline politely

We exchange our stranger’s smiles
And he strolls back to his idling van
The sun has yet to burn through the fog
The shops are all closed
But even if they weren’t
What could they possibly be selling
That we don’t already have?


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