It’s part of your routine, I suspect, those frequent trips to the grocery store. But though routine, only you visit the grocery store in your own unique way. It’s a story; it’s a poem; it’s a tragedy; it’s a memoir; it’s a comic riff on life these days. I’ll post one of my trips to the grocery store to get you started, but I’m sure you have your own grocery story to share.
My favorite reality check is
when I leave the grocery store,
pushing my cart with its many brown bags.
The automatic doors open
and the sky greets me.
The blacktop of the parking lot meets my feet.
I like to check in at that moment,
noting if my hands are tight on the bar of the cart
so I won’t scream or perhaps melt into the pavement.
Other days, my heart leaps to the beauty of the clouds.
Sometimes I am drawn to the sight of other shoppers
whose lives I do not have to live.
That woman so heavy her gait is a struggle
That man with the loosened tie who hawks and spits
That gray-haired, firm-jawed man with pain visible in each uneven step
That mother herding children who are whining about what they want
Then I’m back inside myself—my own legs moving, cart rolling, my car in sight, another day I’m in.
And I’m alive today, each step, this one at the grocery store,