The Breath of Magic – A Poem

I stood in line behind a mandownload

that smelled of cigarettes.

He was swaying from

left to right.

a bouquet of scope and vodka

floating around him

like a cloud. The clerk behind

the counter smiled at him.

How are you today, sir?

The man looked shocked

to be addressed as sir.

I just want to buy this. Cat food. It’s for my cat.

The clerk looked at the  man

that smelled like booze and

nodded, still giving the

man a kind look.

Yes, of course sir. That will be free of charge.

The booze man looked

at the clerk and then bent down

to pick up the cat food

but stopped when he

saw the bags of food.

I didn’t see them appear either.

There were cans one moment

and then bags of food the next.

This isn’t mine.

The booze man said.

I just wanted my cat food.

It is yours. See? Here’s your receipt.

The clerk pointed to a piece of paper

that stuck out of the bag.

You’ve already paid for it.

The booze man looked

beyond amazed. He nodded,

took the bags and whispered

a thank you to the clerk.

It was my turn and as I

got closer, I saw that he

was portly, with an ear ring

in each ear and a large

gold ring on each hand,

each with an emerald in

the setting. He held out his hands

when he saw me, as if he were

welcoming me to a parlour

instead of a cash line.

How are you doing today?

I asked him.

He looked at me, surprised

that someone had asked

him instead of the other way around.

I am very well indeed, thank you. Do you require a bag for your purchases?

With the way he spoke,

the thin beard on his chin

and the jewellery, he reminded

me of a genie.

No thank you.

I told him.

I brought a backpack.

Then at least let me help you get things ready for your purchases.

He gestured at the debit machine.

Put your card in the slot.

I did as he told me to and

he waved his arms again.

The breath of magic in


He leaned over and blew

on the debit machine,

as if it were a flame.

The screen flashed

for a second and

I looked up at him.

found him smiling at me.

What did you do?

I asked him.

He bowed looked at me kindly.

I gave you a doorway.

He said. As I walked

away from the cash line,

he called after me.

Go where you’re feet need to go. They already know the way.

I nodded, knowing that the man

really was a genie and that

magic was possible.

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