Friday, February 22, 2013

365 Poems: The Amish at Walmart

Day 52

Just an evening's errand to Walmart. Everyone was there.

The Amish at Walmart

Good evening, Fort Wayne, and
welcome to Walmart,
where the fluorescent lights never sleep
and you can get your pedicure
alongside your eyeglasses
and haircut.
Dear God,
don’t go in the evening
when all He has wrought
goes crying down the aisles
grasping babies and sneering
at small children too tired after
a day at a babysitter with their
supper piled in a shopping cart.
Wrest your attention from
the macaroni and cheese,
the Ritz crackers, bananas in
a wrong place, wilted bouquets
and beer.
Only when you stand on queue
with your cat food and coffee
debit card in one hand,
smartphone in the other, waiting
for this transaction to be
do you catch the
eye of the Amish lady beside you,
she in a dress as black as a night
without electricity, stiff bonnet set on
a crown of braids,
sturdy shoes
a brown-eyed and serious little fellow
beside her, staring --
Then comes a strange and
bewildering communion,
reluctant recognition,
even a small smile
astonishing, really, the worlds
Allen County holds,
momentarily united
in a Walmart checkout line.

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