Find parking space. Look at my phone,
linger over Ilya Kaminsky poem on Twitter.
Gather bags, purse, feet to carry me
through aisles packed with coffee pods
and single serving containers
while recalling consumption
is the archaic term for a wasting disease
killing, as Keats wrote,
“after sorrow and leaden-eyed despair.”
Consumption now the wasting disease
we visit on the planet.
“It’s like no one hears me,” a passing woman
says into a headset. Another offers samples
intoning “great for a meal in a rush”
to no one in particular.
When a child tips over a container of grapes
his mother chides in a Slavic language I can’t place
and several of us pause to bend down, to laugh
as we reach for little spheres wobbling away,
to smile as we restore sweetness back
to the cart where he sits, watching
his mother’s face ease into gladness.
I’m grateful to the grapes for this pause.
Laura Grace Weldon is the author of poetry collections Blackbird (Grayson Books, 2019) and Tending (Aldrich Press, 2013), with her third due out this year. She was named Ohio Poet of the Year in 2019. Her background includes teaching nonviolence workshops, writing collaborative poetry with nursing home residents, and facilitating support groups for abuse survivors. She works as a book editor and teaches community writing classes. Connect with her at lauragraceweldon.com.
© 2021, Laura Grace Weldon
2 comments on “Last Errand, by Laura Grace Weldon”
“Grateful to the grapes for this pause”: Yes, Laura. I’m always grateful to read your words wobbling to give me pause!