Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cheaper By the Dozen

This poem was inspired by a conversation I had with my daughter about why she doesn't like shopping at large discount stores. Most of the descriptors are hers.

Open the doors
Get swallowed by the vastness
the feel of an abandoned warehouse
into which someone has wheeled in hundreds of racks
of haphazardly hung clothing
Dresses mix 
with shirts mix 
with pants
No apparent arrangement 
     by color
     by size
     by function
Hear the buzz of overhead fluorescent lights
one-third of which are burnt out
giving the place a strange bright dimness
reminiscent of purgatory
Voices mumble in the distance
Babies cry somewhere
yet silence surrounds
Over the dirty linoleum floor
roll dozens of squeaking shopping carts
pushed by sad seeming middle aged women
They plod through the aisles
adding to their purchases
     plus sized jeans
     boy’s sneakers
     men’s underwear
     a ceramic soap dish shaped like an alligator
Their faces blank and haggard
like they’ve never known joy
and have given up searching
except for that queen sized mattress pad
which seems to be sold out.


Brian Miller said...

hahaha...she got that right...i have an aversion to shopping...unless its the bookstore i could stay there all day...

Fireblossom said...

I've been there! And they were also out of the out of season lawn ornaments that were supposed to be half off!

This is perfection. Warped perfection, but perfection, and so well observed.

Btw, did you know Neil Gaiman has a new book coming out in June? it sounds really good.

Allison said...

very accurate. you forgot "reminiscent of purgatory."
love, allie

Lolamouse said...


Added the "purgatory" reference. Don't want to misquote you, my dear!

Margaret said...

And that is an awesome quote "reminiscent of purgatory". No charm in those stores and I try to avoid them. But sometimes a deal can be found

Margaret said...

Your daughter's observations are spot on!!

Mary said...

Sounds like the large discount store that is close to my house....not a pleasant experience to shop there at all!

Anonymous said...

Your daughter hit the nail on the head. I love this poem.

not displayed said...

What a truly depressing place to shop, but a wonderful poem describing it

Timoteo said...

Attention K=Mart shoppers...