TO MARKET, TO MARKET
As big-box supermarkets became the rage,
most small grocery stores closed down.
And the constancy of change set the stage,
for different looks all around town.
The big new markets were open all day,
every day of the week and all night.
But to me this was quite okay
because shopping at night was my delight.
By going at night I avoided the crowds
and parking was easy as could be.
The aisles were very empty and still
and the shelves were restocked for me.
But as I wandered through the large place
my memory would play all kinds of
tricks on me.
Passing the poultry so neatly packed and spaced,
I'd remember going with my Mom to where
live chickens would be.
And she'd pick one out to meet its destiny.
As a child what followed I'll never forget
from that time on, no chicken for me.
I quickly moved down the aisle to think what
next to get.
My mind wandered a bit and my memory got blurred
as stuff on the shelves reminded me
of different times and style.
The quiet was deafening and nary a sound was heard
except for the cash register ready at only one aisle.
I think of the times I went with my late wife
to buy a few items we needed just then.
It brought a tear to my eyes as I thought of my life
and the changes death made just shopping again.
I passed the closed Deli and wondered out loud
Do I miss all the noise or just miss the crowd?
I don't really miss any at all as I think by myself
and I take a can of pea soup off of the shelf.
Being alone in the store amid food galore
Allows me to think of all kinds of things
as I wander through empty aisles in the store.
I do check my list just to make sure
I have what I need before the register rings.
I glance at the peanut butter jars all lined up
and I remember the days when I couldn't get enough.
I picture myself as a kid way back then
following my mother around like a pup.
Things were different back then
and some stores
where we went had sawdust
on the floors.
I never found out why.
As I passed the refrigerated meat counter of now
I remembered the butcher and parts of a cow
hanging like socks on hooks above
the gleaming high white counters
that I couldn't see the tops of.
So my mind wanders as I go through the aisles
and I think of the differences that time will tell.
The candy store, the baker, and all that great smell
are all gone forever just like fashion styles.
But shopping at night is still my delight
and bringing back memories is not bad.
So I'll continue to shop mostly at night
and remember the thoughts that I had.