Monday, March 08, 2010

Poem of the Day


by Faith Shearin

My husband and I stood together in the new mall
which was clean and white and full of possibility.
We were poor so we liked to walk through the stores
since this was like walking through our dreams.
In one we admired coffee makers, blue pottery
bowls, toaster ovens as big as televisions. In another,

we eased into a leather couch and imagined
cocktails in a room overlooking the sea. When we
sniffed scented candles we saw our future faces,
softly lit, over a dinner of pasta and wine. When
we touched thick bathrobes we saw midnight

swims and bathtubs so vast they might be
mistaken for lakes. My husband's glasses hurt
his face and his shoes were full of holes.
There was a space in our living room where
a couch should have been. We longed for

fancy shower curtains, flannel sheets,
shiny silverware, expensive winter coats.
Sometimes, at night, we sat up and made lists.
We pressed our heads together and wrote
our wants all over torn notebook pages.
Nearly everyone we loved was alive and we

were in love but we liked wanting. Nothing
was ever as nice when we brought it home.
The objects in stores looked best in stores.
The stores were possible futures and, young
and poor, we went shopping. It was nice
then: we didn't know we already had everything.

"Shopping" by Faith Shearin, from The Owl Question. © Utah State University Press, 2002.
Lifted from The Writer's Almanac

This poem literally brought me to tears today, as I checked my mail after the routine Monday shopping trip to Big Lots and Aldi's. The part about his glasses hurting his face, I can remember Keith wearing broken glasses like that, when we were younger. We still have a lot of things with holes in them. :) I am supremely lucky that no matter how much money we have (or don't have), how many things we want, or need, or think we need, I never lose sight of how rich I am. Nobody could ever buy the kind of love that lives and grows in the shabby house on Edgehill Street.


Pam said...

Love the poem. We in USA are so rich. Thanks for reminding me.

bnicholson said...

Brought me to tears too. Evocative work, great talent. Timely reminder.