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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication by King Features.

Senior Discount

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, August 30, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I worked as a cashier at a grocery store for seven years where we had a senior discount. This discount brought out the good and bad in people. I was newly in love when I wrote this and wanted to imagine me and my girlfriend growing old together being the good kind of customers.”
—Ali Liebegott

Senior Discount

I want to grow old with you.
Old, old.

So old we pad through the supermarket
using the shopping cart as a cane that steadies us.

I’ll wait at register two in my green sweater
with threadbare elbows, smiling
because you’ve forgotten the bag of day-old pastries.

The cashier will tell me a joke about barbers as I wait.
He repeats the first line three times
but the only word I understand is barber.

Over the years we’ve caught inklings
of our shrinking frames and hunched spines.

You’re a little confused
looking for me at the wrong register with a bag
of almost-stale croissants clenched in your hand.

The first time I held your hand it felt enormous in my own.
Sasquatch, I teased you, a million years ago.

Over here, I yell, but not in a mad way.

We’re laughing.
You have a bright yellow pin on your coat that says, Shalom!

Senior Discount, you say.
But the cashier already knows us.
We’re everyone’s favorite customers.
 

Copyright © 2016 by Ali Liebegott. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 30, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Ali Liebegott. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 30, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.