My Guardian Angel

Shopping for snacks at Hannaford
with my guardian angel tagging along,
I was approached by an anxious asian woman
waving a jar of Ragu in the air,
as if to ask,
what is this, what is this for?

Speaking slowly, enunciating my words,
I announced, in my most helpful voice,
that it goes on spaghetti
and  wondered if she knew what spaghetti was.

Maybe I should go with her, I began to think,
aisle by aisle,
reading off the prices of chicken breasts,
explaining the difference between cookies and dog biscuits.

“Wait a minute,” the angel interrupted,
“This woman,” he said, “will think you’re too bold,
and will just be afraid
and what do you know, anyway,
about shopping for food, comparing prices?
You’ll screw it up
and it’s getting close to one o’clock. ”

This was his typical tone, but today
I began to wonder
about his credentials.

Was there a shortage of angels
on the day I was born,
when I was assigned this god-forsaken one?

Or is he an imposter, working for the devil,
having shot the real one, execution style,
stolen the wings,
and dumped the body in the Charles River?

“I understand your concerns,” he interrupted again
taking my intentions by the hand,
leading me to the checkout counter,
“but you do have a meeting at one o’clock.”

Suddenly an old song slid by my scanner –
Please allow me to introduce myself
And I don’t know who was thinking that thought,
whether it was him, or me.

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