Friday, March 20, 2015

poem of the day 03.20.15

five for five

i feel like
i’m in a harvey pekar comic
standing in this grocery line
listening to the two women in front of me
arguing the price of soda with the cashier
it says five for five, they keep shouting
one of them is shaking the grocery flyer
soon the manager comes over
and three other cashiers who could be ringing people out
he’s trying to sooth the situation
but he’s just pissing the women off
i picked this line because it was the shortest
i should’ve known
there’s no such thing as a free lunch in this town
and no one ever gets behind old ladies
hot on the heels of sunday mass and jonesing for a sugar fix
at least it’s not election day
everyone else in this joint
looks wiser than me in the moment
people with their ice cream and cold cuts
who will pay and be out and free
while i’m stuck behind these old bats
as they continue to plead their case
five for five, they keep on
there aren’t even any hot cashiers
too look at to pass the time
so i look at the things in my basket
fruit, vegetables, club soda for vodka
meats, cheese, toilet paper and cat food
everything is an essential part of my human wheel
i can’t even toss the basket and leave
i just stand there watching my minutes tick
high noon on sunday
with a six-day work week staring down the barrel of a gun
as the women and the manager and even more cashiers
are leaning over the grocery flyer
like they’re examining battle plans
in this dirty little war we wage
and call it a life.


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