Monday, July 28, 2014

I came in for one thing.

written for last week's Staff Talent Show

The store is stuffed with mounds of merch.

The people come, and oh, they search.

A Scrabble mug. A picture frame.

That book. You know, by what’s-her-name.

They come with varied goals in mind,

exceeded by the things they find.

Who knew how many pins they’d need?

Who knew how much they had to read?

Who knew a ring could tell their mood?

Who knew their mood was “wanting food.

Yes, cookies. Yes, the kind by Tate’s.”

They need a planner, for their dates

are filling fast. They’re busy bees.

They’d best relax. They need some teas

to drink while watching Game of Thrones,

a show that frustrates with unknowns…

unless they cheat and read ahead.

But who has time for weddings red?

They’d better get a magazine.

And just because they’re past eighteen

can’t mean the grownup books are urgent.

Look! John Green! And look! Divergent!

Look! Nostalgia! Goodnight Moon!

Isn’t someone’s kid due soon?

Trees that gave and trains that could.

Those books were their childhood.

Wimpy kids and half-blood gods.

Boston books? What stunning odds!

A spinner sorted, slot by slot.

(I hope and dream. It’s all I’ve got.)

There’s Parenting and Health and Psych

and travel guides by train or bike.

That bargain book may not last long.

To pass it up would just be wrong.

And who could skip the plates and bowls?

Not those with culinary goals

that match the cookbooks perfectly—

the kosher to the gluten-free.

Five months till Christmas! None to waste!

Find books for every reading taste,

though friends can be persnickety.

Who won’t inhale the Picketty?

Knausgaard wrote about his struggle.

Rowling wrote about a muggle.

Stacks of Books We Love, and each

might be useful for the beach.

Almost out, but wait, there’s more!

Stairs reveal another floor.

All the books they’ve meant to read,

used! A worthy deal indeed.

And while they soothe their reader-shame,

they spot a favorite author’s name.

She’s coming on a looming eve!

Yeah, they’ll come back. Or just not leave.

But—sigh—the rest of life awaits.

They must ascend. (And buy more Tate’s.

And mini-books. And chocolate bars.

And bags for schlepping to their cars.)

They think, “I might as well. I’m here.”

Impulsive? Sure. But they are dear

to we who fill the waiting shelves.

They never need explain themselves.

So let your basket overflow.

‘Cause would we ever judge you? NO!

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