Market Basket
by George Bilgere

The grocery store where for forty years
my mother shopped, the big old down
at the heels Market Basket with the palm trees
shading the parking lot where she cursed
for decades the slow incompetent parkers,
who cursed her in turn, the Market
Basket whose wide linoleum aisles
she plied with so many barges groaning
with Cheerios and pork chops and milk,
Rice-a-Roni and Hamburger Helper,
Band Aids and Kool Aid and Gallo wine,
that cool dim cave where my friends
were bag boys and stock boys
and the first girl I ever dated
was a cashier I took out after her
night shift into the parking lot,
liberating her from that crisp white
Market Basket blouse in the front seat
of my mother’s Buick on summer nights
that smelled of lilac–dear God,
that very Market Basket demolished
in a single day by demented backhoes,
and all its meats and pickles gone,
along with the freezer aisle, so cool
on blazing afternoons in July,
and the racks of Snickers and Mars bars
gone, the bright red Coke machine gone,
and the ancient palomino rocking horse
next to the entrance, where for a nickel
the children of our town galloped
through their childhood,
has galloped away.


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