Tuesday, January 24, 2017

day FIVE

Panic at the Grocery Store

Lady you should probably get somebody
to clean this mess up, he says,

but I don’t move, I am breathing in vinegar,
separating the glass from the pickles
wrapping the dill around my wrists like shackles.
Hey, I don’t think you should be doing that,
you could cut yourself, lady, he says.

The woman who let the jar slip from her fingers
left behind a cart full of canned vegetables,
maybe she thought they would slow her down.
Right before she dropped it she said,
Now that the election is over,
I can tell you the truth, I voted for Trump.

As she hurried away, she yelled,
You really should be more careful, you klutz!
When the guy with the broom
and dustpan taps me on the shoulder,
I tell him I didn’t do it,
as I shove pickles into my coat pocket.
He doesn’t care. A crowd forms around us.
I want to take a poll to see who voted for who,
but instead I ask, Who was your favorite president?
A man with a cart full of meat says, Teddy.
Then there’s a chorus of names that are met
with rebuttals. Nixon-Watergate? LBJ-Great Society?
Carter-Iran, Clinton-Monica.

The man with the meat says,
At least we’ll have a hot first lady!
-What about Jackie? She was a class act.

And then they drop, like the jaws of people
who didn’t vote because they didn’t like Hillary
and thought Trump would never win. One by one
they crash on the floor: the artichokes, the baby corn,
the green tomatoes, the cauliflower, the green beans,
the roasted red peppers, the crowd. And then
the manager gets on the loudspeaker and screams,
Someone is going to have to pay for all of this!

Rebecca Schumejda is the author of Falling Forward, Cadillac Men, and Waiting at the Dead End Diner. Her new collection Our One-Way Street is forthcoming from NYQ Books this Spring. Blah, blah, blah, blah, are you bored yet? I am.

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