The Happy Baker, 520 King Street,
Fredericton, December 2016
Marc Swan

“It’s not a patisserie.
It’s a bakery,” she says.
Her thick black hair pulled back,
low-cut green top sets off a glimpse
of cleavage below a blood-red tinted
stone encased in gold, and a smile
that reaches over the counter to me,
to the woman beside me, to the delivery
man pushing a two-wheeler in the aisle.
I point to a tray of cookies. “That one,”
I say. “An orphan,” she says, “created
by the union of cranberries and oatmeal.”
Her deadpan humor intrigues me. I order
one and ask her favorite. She doesn’t
blink. “Why all of them,” she says.
Her hips are slim, eyes bright, full
of mischief. It’s been a long time
this feeling coming home.

Marc Swan is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor. His poems have recently been published or forthcoming in The Broadkill Review, Ropes, Gargoyle, Midwest Quarterly, Nuclear Impact Anthology, among others. His third collection, Simple Distraction, was published by Tall-Lighthouse, London, England. He lives with his wife Dd in Portland, Maine.