Bag of Clothing by Katrina Parker Williams

My friend worked in retail

as a sales associate in a clothing store.

We met a year earlier at a seafood restaurant,

waiting tables parttime and smelling of fish and guts.

We were young and wild and free-spirited,

leaving the restaurant to shower at her house and

dancing until the clubs let out. All night the music thumping.

The drinks flowing freely. And a new outfit each week.

I was so grateful for the bags of marked-down clothing,

new stock not yet tagged or recorded or hung out on the racks.

Stored in the employee stock room for weeks and

marked as damaged goods, the prices slashed.

Once a week, I came at the appointed time

to pick up my bag of clothing,

paying only a dollar.

Katrina Parker Williams teaches English composition and grammar at a community college. She is a Barton College graduate with a B.S. in Communications and a Masters of Education in English from East Carolina University. She is also the author of a fictional novel titled Liquor House Music. Her work has appeared in Charlotte Viewpoint, Muscadine Lines, USADEEPSOUTH, and the Wilson Community College website.

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