The bakery girl behind the counter

had a Polish accent and a blonde ponytail.

She was all snap, crackle and pop

as she jiggled and jounced, flitting about

with the levitating brio of a hummingbird

high on the aroma of rye bread, corn

bread and raisin pumpernickel.

She waltzed around strudel and backlava

never missing a beat as she dazzled the eye

with pirouettes and glissades,

long slender fingers danced on the cash

register, a concert pianist dress rehearsal.

At home in her skin, she juggled jelly donuts

and éclairs with the zoetic finesse

of a Cirque Du Soleil clown performer.

When she asked if that was all, as if she

might part with her heart and her soul,

I wanted to talk to or touch her, but how

can you shake hands with a butterfly in flight?

I mumbled thank you and aware that she flew

and I was still here on the ground,

shlumped away.

Milton P. Ehrlich