Five different times during our seven day visit,
we trekked over to Eaton Street. Our faces
pressed the glass window, our hands cupped
our eyes. Looking for Judy.

We donned our masks, meandered aisles.
Perused displays. Eventually spent half
our vacation funds on books, magazines.
An autographed copy of Freckle Juice.
Offerings of respect. Looking for Judy.

A glimpse of Deenie, Margaret, Blubber
or any of the infamous Eaton Street etherals
would have been bodacious, but we were looking
for Judy.

Rumor had it that she worked the cash register
on Sundays, so we grabbed some Goldman bagels
(with a nice vegetable schmear) and bustled
over to her bookstore. Looking for Judy.

Arriving prior to opening, we leaned against the storefront.
Each with one leg folded behind, the other foot tapping.
Twin flamingos in Key West. Our eyes on the clock.
All the while muttering. “Are you there Judy? It’s us.
Carol and Kelly.” Looking for Judy.

When someone else showed up to ring the register,
we dolefully departed town. Slipped away, no longer
looking for Judy. Until next time.

Carol Parris Krauss is a mother, teacher, and poet. Her poems are slow, and New South. She enjoys using nature and place as vehicles for her messages. Carol was honored to be recognized by the University of Virginia as a Best New Poet. She was also honored to be the 2021 Crossroads Competition winner. Her work can be found in a variety of online and print journals such as The Amsterdam Quarterly, the SC Review, Story South, and Broadkill Review. In November of 2021, Just a Spit down the Road, her collection of poetry, was published by Kelsay Books.