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Senior Hours and More
by Joan Leotta

While I truly thank the many who came to my home, delivering what we ordered, so many more orders than I usually make (OTC meds, cleaning supplies, certain foodstuffs from stores a far drive from here), weekly we headed out in senior hours to the grocery store.

There, the clerks who know me by name and face and voice, recognized me and I them, even masked, and we laughed as I thanked them for their presence and the gift their service was and is to me. Through the years we exchanged laughter over family, over work, shared recipes. In the early morning senior hours we shared wishes for safety and good health as my vegetables and fruits rolled down to the register.

Good friends always, in this time of Covid, they risked their lives so I could eat apples, lettuce, eggplant. Lennie looks over his mask with even greater insight that the rest, so I single him out from the crowd, for as E.B. White says, it is truly rare to find a friend who is also a good writer—Lennie is in my writer’s group. Though the braver in the group have met outside, I have kept in touch by email—so thanks to Lennie, a grocery worker who has made it his job to help me nourish body and soul.

Photo of Leonard DiGregio by the author, used with his permission..

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: There are so many essential workers in my daily life—drug store clerks, the checkers and baggers and cart cleaners from the four different groceries we use, the delivery folks and postal workers—so many. I chose to write about Lennie because of our friendship that goes beyond his work day.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: When she is not playing with words on page or stage, Joan Leotta loves nothing more than sitting at table or walking the beach, laughing and talking with family. She spins poems, articles, essays, short stories, and performance pieces most often around her core interests—food, family, nature, travel, and strong women. Her poetry books include  Languid Lusciousness with Lemon (Finishing Line Press), Nature’s Gifts from Stanzaic Stylings (free online), and a mini-book from origami poems (free, but also printable). Another short collection will be released by Origami in 2020. Visit her at joanleotta.wordpress.com and on Facebook.