The grocery cart had old fruit smashed and dried to its grated floor.
"Someone really ought to hose that off," thought I.
I've had this cart before,
and thought the same thing then.
The parking lot was conspicuously short on cars.
Saturday morning is usually busier.
A corporate megamart has opened
just five minutes from here.
I pushed the cart into my familiar market,
defiantly devoted in the face of change
to my beloved grocer, unpolished, unrefined
and unapologetically human.
The Pinova apples are painted vibrant shades of yellow, pink and red.
Perfect in their imperfection. Better there be scars than a thick polish of wax.
And the voices around me are they from Russia or Ukraine?
Is that Farsi or Arabic? I'm too ignorant to tell, but I love them all.
Alien music wafts through the aisles like invisible fog over a transparent bay.
Languages I don't understand, unique rhythms and instruments, too.
Wait! Is that Alsu singing Inagda? I haven't heard that since I was in Moscow.
Her voice is a plush ribbon of sweet strawberries.
Unlike the traitorous mob of shallow consumers, I won't abandon you.
My car will be parked outside every Saturday.
Leave the Madison Avenue market to its sterile caricatures
of humanity and its corporate approved melodies.
I prefer a place where the Black Pompano stares at me
through a blanket of shaved ice and clouded eyes,
without a sheet of glass to separate us,
near the aisle where I can find the West African spices.
I unloaded the bags of groceries, filling my car with food.
Emptying the cart of its last bag, I thought,
"Someone really should hose this thing out."
And I drove away; another weekend chore complete.