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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Reader shares poem about funny experience

October 20, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Margaret Prezioso-Frye has been a Columbia resident since 1987. She wrote this poem after a store cashier mistakenly took her for an actress. It is part of a published book called "A Notebook Of Stories."

Didn’t Start Out As A Poem: The Checkout Boy

One day I went to the grocery store
I needed half ‘n half, chips and ¼ lb bats’ lips
Yes, I’m serious about the chips
I love ‘em with dips, the kind that I make
I stood in the checkout line with customers behind
My turn soon, I approached
The checkout boy beamed excitement
With the happiest face
Looking away from other customers right at me
I was confused needless to say

It was my turn
He could no longer contain
He blurted at last “I know who you are”
“Yes, you were in that movie!”
“What movie?”
“That one with the witch! You’re that witch!”
“That witch,” I thought “Not a princess, not a handmaiden but a witch
Now why would he think that?”
He told me the name of the movie

And I knew

I drolly mentioned the actress
My voice dropping
Then the character’s name, “you think I’m her,”
I turned to the couple behind me, ruefully shaking my head
They tried not to laugh, not a very good attempt
He just wouldn’t quit “Yes! It’s you! It’s your hair!”
“She has to have hers fixed to look like I do
It could be a wig
Mine grows this way
I’m not her” I shook my head no
This is so not fair…

He became serious, and nodded
As he rung my order, a proud smirk on his face
He just knew he knew my secret
I wanted to keep it that way so I could shop free, unknown
I knew he’d tell his friends he’d met an actress
I took my bag and went home

As I put bats’ lips in the blender
I heated half ‘n half and poured espresso left standing
From the morning, stagnant and strong
I mixed lip frappe, cream cheese, onion soup for chip dip
I put everything on a Libra-zodiac tray
And told the broom, mop and bucket to take care of the kitchen floor
They didn’t budge, didn’t stare back, but just leaned
Against the utility closet door
I looked around at the mess, later on then I guess
I got comfy on the couch
Shot a glance at the fireplace, so still, so cold
It lit
The button control in a floor panel near where I sit
“That’s much better I must say" as
I watched centipedes that crawled stone crevices scurry away

While I watched a classic movie
My mind began to drift
“Imagine him saying I was that witch.
Where would he get such a notion?
People think the strangest things.
An adage but it’s true.
Like it or not I made his day.
Ah, what can you do”?

Then a warlock blacked out streetlights
Just because he could
“Good trick but a waste,” I thought
“There’re better things to do
An actress of the big screen, he says
No, it just wasn’t true”

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.