Nancy L. Meek
I DON’T HAVE ANY LUCK IN GROCERY STORES
You know that place which costs you lots of money
in exchange for little food…
It always seems I have to go
when I’m not really in the mood;
but after work, I have to stop
if we’re gonna eat that day.
They can put men on the moon,
you’d think they’d find a way
so we could all just go on home,
take off our shoes, relax a bit,
eat some food and rest our weary bones…
before we have to do it all over again.
But, today it didn’t happen like this,
so, I stopped at a local store.
I should have known… it was my luck,
as soon as I hit the lot, the rain began to pour.
All the spaces in the front were taken,
except one which was full of buggies…
so, I parked twenty cars away
on top of some baby’s used huggies.
I should have taken my chances
and parked in the fire lane,
but with my luck, I’d get a ticket,
despite the pouring rain.
Anyhow, I made it to the door in record time,
proceeding on to get the evening meal.
Fortunately, they had one buggy left…
you know… the one with the wobbly wheel.
But, I was in a hurry, so it really didn’t matter.
I hobbled on to the produce section,
dodging baskets of flowers on the floor,
checked the squash, then making my selection.
The aisles were cramped leaving produce…
because of those darned baskets of flowers!
I had to back up to let some old lady pass…
At this rate, this would take me hours!
Backing up, my eye caught the apples,
so, I just had to pick out a few before
I headed to the meat case for some beef.
After picking out the nicest three… the rest hit the floor,
tumbling off the counter, hitting that old lady!
“Why me, Lord?!…… Who stacked them things!
It must have been a conspiracy
by invisible creatures with little wings
who saw me coming through the door,
stacked them baskets all around
and arranged them apples so they’d hit the floor
as I picked some out… They had it planned!”
But, coming to my senses, I flagged a clerk,
who, surprisingly, was there at the right time.
I whispered to the clerk that the clumsy old woman
bumped them apples and caused them to go flying.
Anyway, I was in a hurry to get home.
I kicked a basket of flowers out of my way
so I could get to the meat case and get outa there…
This was not how I liked to spend my day!
You could tell hot weather was here
by all the styrofoam coolers on the floor…
You know…… if you barely tap them things,
they go flying all over the store…
but, luckily, they stayed in place… this time.
So, I whipped my wobbly buggy around,
managing to make my way to the beef,
where I quickly selected some ground round.
“That’s it!” I said, “That’s all I need…
some apples, squash and beef.”
But, you know, as soon as I said that,
I thought of one more thing… who would believe
I hadn’t made a list which I could stick to.
Next time, though, I’d be prepared
with a complete list on a dry day…
and just to show them that I cared,
I might even buy some flowers from those stupid baskets
scattered ‘round the floor right in my way.
But, that’s neither here nor there right now.
So, I picked up some bread and, ready to pay,
headed for the checkout counter…
eyes looking straight ahead and walking fast…
so I wouldn’t have the time or be able to see
anything tempting… since I was low on cash.
I chose what appeared to be the shortest line;
but, I want you to know, I’m always wrong
when it comes to making that choice.
It might as well have been ten miles long!
And it does no good to jump around…
Take it from one who really knows,
‘cause something always happens… like today…
when she slapped that sign down… “This Lane Closed”
So, there I was… back in the first line I picked,
dragging out my checkbook. But, was I surprised,
when all I saw were deposit slips… I just rolled my eyes.
Now what could I do? I didn’t have enough cash
to pay for everything in my cart.
Sooooo, I settled on the loaf of bread and beef.
Paying my bill, I left the store.
Perhaps I should have gotten the apples instead?
By the time I got home, there sat my family…
eating Chinese food… I guess they weren’t able
to wait for me to get home, and then I saw
a basket of apples on the kitchen table.
“Where did those come from?” I asked.
“Oh, two little girls came to our door,
selling them to help out their grandmother
who fractured her foot today in the grocery store.”
“Oh… I see.” said I, listening to their story:
“You see, Mom, she grows and sells her own flowers
to earn money so she can pay her bills.
She made a delivery to the store, when it started to shower…
and, deciding to wait out the rain,
she encountered a woman in a hurry
who knocked some apples to the floor.
But, she says she’ll be okay, and not to worry.”
All at once, I knew what I must do.
I grabbed a new check book and headed for the door.
“Where are you going?” my husband asked.
“I’ll be right back! I’m going to the store!”…
At the store, I marched right to those baskets of flowers
which were scattered all around,
picked up every flower in them…
and paid for every one I found.
©Copyright 1996 by Nancy L. Meek