Regarding me over bins of oatmeal and millet,
not comprehending choices –
where is the plain, brown, recognizable?
Offer of assistance precipitates wonder:
Do I work there?
Perhaps, and one never knows another’s motives,
What qualifies me to answer?
I smile as she wonders aloud,
Why would you help?
Never having had this asked, I am miffed;
glibly answer, Because I was raised that way.
And perhaps it’s true, as a jingle plays
in the back of my head;
not my parents’ doing, but good enough.
Service, I say, is purpose;
What harm can it do?
Stumped, her mouth twitches in nervous retort,
I like your hair.