The guy at the counter could sell used cars.
He grins congenially and pretends
that your cast-off things are more precious
than realistically they are. He feigns interest,
smiling as I hold forth on the history of each item.
Near the lobby door is an oversize cage
housing the tiniest of birds.
I stop and chat with them, too,
until I run out of excuses
and there is nothing left for me to do
but walk away.
With my hand on the exit sign,
I glance backwards over my shoulder.
The counter guy is still smiling.