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Leaving Valentino's

For the first time in almost four years,
I walked into Valentino’s Supermarket,
to the marble tile where a jar of bayleaf once shattered
by the bulging stacks of Nutella, lining the produce aisle.
Overhead, copper pipes spray mist on the apricots and nectarines,
mixed together by old eastern European grandmothers,
whose sunken lips and swollen cheekbones
remind me of midwives in 20th century films of feudal England,
feeling the fruits’ ripeness with their fingers because they are nearsighted
from nights of staring out the windows of their high-rise apartments,
longing to catch a glimpse of their motherland’s
pastures of rye, only days from harvest.
A plump Polish teenager behind the cashier counter
stretches her profane tongue as the line of waiting baskets
grows longer— it is six in the afternoon, and fathers with sawdust
and worn pliers in their asphalt hands
are coming home from construction sites
in the developmental areas of Glendale and Maspeth,
and mothers have retired from the soap opera marathon
on Channel 2 and the phonetics homeworks of their toddlers.
Beside a tray of homemade caramel toffees,
paint chips on the Grecian jar of biscottis is peeling away,
the almond crumbs sticky and collected on the bottom,
where they've been since the summer of a broken bayleaf jar.

10 Nov 10

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    There is nothing like an education...
 — gblade

Well constructed and thoughful observation of K-mart transience Mitch :-)
 — pdemitchell

gblade, what do you mean by that?
 — Sequiturist

I really like the last 2 lines...
 — unknown