Issue 136, Fall 1995
She was choosing cucumbers at the grocery store and wondering what sorts of genitalia cicadas had when someone touched her on the shoulder. She prepared her public face and turned, expecting to see her friend the produce man.
There was no one behind her. The automatic sprinkler over the vegetables switched on and soaked the sleeve of her new suede jacket. She wanted someone to be behind her. She turned all the way round and there, at the far end of her cart in a wet mist which rose faintly pink from a heap of red cabbages, stood Henry V of England.
“He’s awfully young,” she said aloud, or nearly aloud. There was no one else around. She hastily chose a cucumber and a red cabbage, though her sons hated red cabbage, wheeled her cart in a half-circle and went fast away from the boy-king past the oranges and the garlic, to the checkout counter. He strode behind her. She did not look back, but she could hear his sword hitting his boot at every step. He helped her unload her groceries for t…