Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Banking Day

It's banking day again
Mom's been planning this for a week
Time to get her big stash -  enough to last a month
She doesn't use credit cards
No way she's going to give some thief a chance to snatch her identity
Count on it!  Mom sticks to cash

In one hand, she has her Walgreens important papers wallet,
A little brown paper lunch bag,
And her detailed list of the cash she wants from the bank
            all small bills
            and an exact count of each
In her other hand is her trusty quad cane at the ready

When we arrive at the bank, I lag behind and wait in the back
Mom wants to make sure that I don't hover over her at the window
           and tell her what to do
She marches down the rich burgundy carpet precisely angling her quad cane
          guarded by the arched cathedral ceiling
          security police, and the nosey eyeballs of video cameras

She is impatient as she waits in line for the two customers ahead of her
          to finish their business
When, at last, she maneuvers her way to Grace's banking window
          two other available clerks are left waiting

Grace and Mom have known each other for nearly twenty-three years
Grace was Dad's favorite banking clerk
"She's all business,"  Dad would say

Mom launches into her well worn instructions     
Pointing precisely and reading aloud from her list
         the denominations and the number of  the bills she wants
Then she reminds Grace that they must be new bills
Grace smiles and gathers her familiar resources
A couple of customers now in line breathe deeply
        shuffle and shift to the other foot

Grace counts the stiff new bills twice into neat little piles
Mom methodically counts them again being careful to thumb each one thoroughly
        to make sure none are stuck together
Finally, she puts everything into her brown paper bag
All the while chatting about the robberies, scams on TV
       and the days when she and Dad would come to the bank together

At last, Mom turns, peers across the lobby's expanse
        and begins to pick her way in my direction
The customers in line exhale, change to the other foot and relax
She concentrates steadfastly on her trajectory
        brown paper bag and Walgreens wallet in hand
        confident that no one outside the bank will guess what's in them
When she finally joins me at the door
She stops, turns, glances back and flatly declares

       "They need more clerks in this bank
        I had to wait too long in that line
        Now, that's just plain poor management!”
c  9/07
Sandy Hartman

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