baby bottles, car seats and strollers,
head scarves and . . . tennis shoes?
make their way through the checkpoint.
A line of impregnability,
from the wrinkled forehead of the matriarch
(it’s always been this way)to the teenager in black scarf
(I’m reminded of Minstrel Shows and the subterfuge of black face but can’t say why….is imitation the highest form of flattery?)that drapes her face like a mantilla and frames her dark glasses,
modern as the painted toes
(slattern)she bares to remove her shoes.
It’s our choice, she would insist if asked.
But I wonder where the men are.
The men behind the choice come through later,
unburdened in blue jeans, serious as kings.
Unencumbered but for their wallets and cell phones,
they sport flamboyant heads of hair
I’d like to run my fingers through . . .
The women sit in chairs with their legs together
and await direction.
They cosset the children and await the men.