Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Counting Cherries (Poem 107)

In the grocery store,
we count the cherries,
one by one, removing 
from the plastic bag
those we cannot afford.
Three plums or four?
Next to us, a man
weighs an ugly yellow 
melon in his hand, 
touching it,
gazing at the price sign, 
his head cocked 
first to the right, 
then the left.
An elderly couple,
gesticulating grandly,
discusses whether to buy 
a cabbage or 
a bunch of celery. 
Too casually, I pick up 
a small packet of grapes, 
and head back to my cart,
flushing at my ostentatious
extravagance. 
A young woman has 
supplanted me at the altar 
of the cherries
--black as dried blood--
and counts them out,
one by one, removing 
from the plastic bag
those she cannot afford. 

 (c) 2013, by Hannah Six