Ralph Earle: The Small Kitchen Appliances Aisle


The Small Kitchen Appliances Aisle

By the time I caught sight of Celeste,
I had lost track of what store I was in.
I came here for a vegetable brush, then I
tossed every good deal I might someday need
into a shopping cart whose wheels followed
different trajectories.

Celeste trembled, surprised to see me
in such a place. She wasn’t sure
what she was looking for, just wandering.
She thought she had seen the vegetable brushes
on the small kitchen appliances aisle.

I tried to persuade her to come with me
to the next meditation group, knowing
sometimes riding with me works for her,
and sometimes not. She receded
down another aisle while I succeeded
in spotting, like a rare bird, my brush.

I think I’ll check out now. I think
I’ll put my purchases in the trunk.
I’ll yield to pedestrians, I’ll persuade myself
to re-park, return for that extra ream of paper,
low-fat cereal, overlooked cleanser,
one more word with Celeste.

Ralph Earle

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