Poetry / Uncategorized

At the Market

Shopping with my mother

I’m fifty going on nine

in the produce section

the green disarray of lettuces

flamboyant peppers

add some flair

as if Matisse had been let loose there.

Above our heads

the industrial rafters

are chirping with excitement

two skittering little birds

jumping gaily

humming their good fortune.

Nothing green can stay

as nothing alive can either

up there flying over berries and mangos.

Nervously, I shift on one foot

looking for a man

with murder in his net.

This store here,

now remodeled

I remember in the 1980s

when a woman ran through

the plate glass window in front

with a frozen chicken

already dead, of course,

that bird and it’s stilled wings.

Perhaps I could entice these two down

with some blood red strawberries

make a run for the exit?

My mother

deep in thought

critiquing the shortcomings of the peaches

doesn’t see that blind death is creeping

from the dazzling display

of sunshine oranges

into the bins of

discarded produce.



12 thoughts on “At the Market

  1. What a scene, Lana. The contrast between the produce market – as lively and colorful as a Matisse – and the impending death of the little birds is so powerful. I love the details and the vividness, the memory of the plate glass shattering. I too am only nine when in my mother’s company. Great poem.

    • Thanks Diana. This scene was from a while back before my mom died. She ruled the produce aisle with a sharp eye. I always worry when I see birds flying around in stores. I’ve seen them in Walmart too. I know they aren’t just going to let them be when there is food involved, health department, etc. It makes me sad to contemplate their fate.

      • I see them in the big open markets and never noticed them being chased out. I imagine that it happens. And I can relate to your mom’s love of the produce aisles. ❀

  2. I identify a little with all of the players in this poem, the fifty-going-on-nine-year-old lady wandering through the colorful produce, the one lost in memories, the little birds who are trapped inside but not unhappy, the older woman critiquing the shortcomings of the peaches. I have been each of them, and all of them at once. Lovely, Lana, a seamlessly woven piece. πŸ™‚

  3. What a colourful and yet also chilling poem with that hint of everything being mortal, Lana. It reads to me like those beautiful dutch still life paintings thay always paired the unlasting beauty of fruits with a memento mori, a candle or skull. The reference to Matisse is perfect for these produce aisles. I’ve never seen birds in any of our supermarkets but I imagine they would be chased out too. Xoxo

    • Mortality is always a good theme to explore and there is something about danger balanced with color. I had to look Matisse up, though, I needed a colorful artist, LOL. That is very interesting about the still life dutch paintings, I will have to look some of those up also. Thanks so much, Sarah. Happy, beautiful creative weekend my friend. xoxo

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