I Thought Death had Better Manners by Pleasant Street

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A shadow fell across me

and the shelves of canned tomatoes

before me at the local market

someone breathing-heavy enough

close enough to feel it upon my neck.

I moved an obligatory two steps

toward the green beans

but the shadow moved with me

like the mouth-breathers from

middle school.

I made a quick move to leave the aisle

when a black-robed figure

skirted around me, knocking off

half a dozen cans

with a garden tool.

Finally in line, with my 2 cans

of pizza sauce and a rotisserie chicken

I saw the black robe putting groceries

on the conveyor, and when he turned

his head I saw it was the grim reaper.

I said, “Hey man- how come

you have 32 items in the express lane?”

Everything stopped. The store

was shrouded in silence. The cashier

looked at me in horror.

Death’s hand stopped in mid-air

holding a box of Corn Pops.

“You know,” I said

“That stuff’ll kill you.”



Pleasant Street is a mother, baker, and poet. She has been writing poetry since fourth grade. Now she is writing a series of neo-noir thrillers and a collection of short stories. She thinks too hard and feels too deeply, and appears to be stuck in 1948. She is still dreaming up a way to use baked goods as legal tender.
Pleasant lives on a tree-lined street where nothing seems to happen on the outside, but she is certain many thrillers are contained behind closed doors. She is often carried away by flights of fancy, but that suits her very well.

6 Replies to “I Thought Death had Better Manners by Pleasant Street”

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