The Poetry of Mary K. O'Melveny

GROCERY SHOPPING WITH MY WIFE ON A WINDY JANUARY DAY


 

 

First, we scanned chilled blue skies

for signs of comfort as

we dressed up in layers

to venture out where trees

are bent over like old 

chess players huddled at

a park square deep in thought.  

 

Our trip for groceries 

turned glacial – we could have

been on Shackleton’s team –

each with duties, routines

to keep our focus, shift

our luck.  I will find us 

lettuce, butter, cereal. 

 

She will search for paper

goods, cleaning products.  Our

supermarket’s aisles are swelled.  

Who knows if it is King’s 

birthday or Trump’s furlough 

that finds us all here, carts

filling with chicken soups, 

 

instant cocoa and whipped cream.

It feels as though we might 

find some comfort here that

eludes us elsewhere.  As

if din of commerce might

obscure our deeper fears

that our capacities

 

for survival were merely

temporary; that, like

the Endurance, we might

weaken or falter against

pack ice and shifting gales.  

And so we add chocolate 

cookies.  And a Merlot.

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