In seven days the big feast will be upon us. Whether you’re hosting or traveling the time crunch has likely begun. With due respect I’ll keep opening remarks brief. Here are three smile inducing poems dedicated to those facing an eipic grocery trip in their very near future. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
The potato that ate all its carrots,can see in the dark like a mole,its eyes the scarsfrom centuries of shovels, tines.May spelled backwardsbecause it hates the light,pawing its way, padding along,there in the catacombs.
(Copyright ©2008 by Bruce Guernsey. Reprinted from New England Primer by Bruce Guernsey, Cherry Grove Collections.)
I am a Grocery Bagger, and I Have Feelings
The beets pass through my hands
waiting to be juiced by the vegan
they will scream as he juices them
and stain the floor a terrible red
only a dollar
must we then conclude
to be white
is to be cheap?
the pieces of lettuce strewn on the floor
are the discarded cloaks of fairies
the snowy mold on the strawberries
their frost-touched pillows
and they have stolen the price signs
to make the palace of their king
shall we blame mere mortals
for the actions of fairies?
for where others see Incompetence, I see only Beauty
(Originally sent as a joke to poetry.com)
A Supermarket in California
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!–and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?
I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.)
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?
(Penned in Berkeley, 1955)