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A CANDLE IN WALMART

By (January 1, 2016) 2 Comments

 
I don’t know in which aisle lay
the paraffin candles with pictures of saints
in the supermarket of my dreams with
a parking lot full of reflected clouds
or mirages y milagros

in full glory & trumpery: O shiny
America of asphalt & candy fluff
too many banks & the banks of rivers
I have known: Willamette, Columbia,
St. Joseph

criss-crossing the midwestern town
where I spent an Easter afternoon
explaining to my Jewish daughter the story
of the Best Jew of All Time, Jesus
& we ate frozen yogurt

& beignets & pretended we were
somewhere else: a Walmart or a dealership
of luxury sedans or at the site of
“the largest vacuum cleaner in Michiana”
but I thought of the water table

& the buried shaved bits of stone tapered
to take skin to bone because out here
even the fast-food joints have a different glow
the libraries different books & walking
up the sidewalk near the creek

the tributary of St. Joe’s, E. leaned down &
studied an animal bone & I leaned down
& scooped her up unready to have
a discussion of what’s left behind what’s
flayed what’s tabled until next year

now three years hence I’ve fenced it off
& put away the picture books
stuck here struck in the Mexican sodapop
aisle God Bless America & yes
I’ll take the St. Christopher.

____
Anthony Robinson lives in rural Oregon surrounded by gun-owners and other kinds of Republicans. Different poems appear in The Awl, The Iowa Review, and Verse.

 

votivePhoto by Matthew Rutledge