pirate boy

by Steven J. Serafiani

The night before Halloween,
I stood in line at the grocery store checkout next to a boy dressed as a pirate,
a black and red headband fastened tightly,
an eyepatch and a skull and crossbones vest,
a parrot slightly askew on his shoulder,
his portly mother dumped bags of candy on the belt,
he was whirling his plastic sword at invisible swashbucklers,
yelled “Victory!”
his mother grabbed his arm telling him sternly to “Knock it off!”
his eyes sunk to the floor,
arms that once swung wild were now hanging at his side,
he sullenly looked up at his mother and said,
“Mommy, can I wear my costume to school tomorrow?”
she replied,
“Just be quiet!”
I looked at him and said,
“Kid, in ten years you’re going to be wearing a costume every day.”
I looked over at the cashier,
she smiled.