We do not speak /
Exchange pleasantries

I ignore the building noise
Focusing on the beep;

Her hands guide my groceries
Across a sensor / this causes the monitor to blink
After every beep

She sweeps my goods then into plastic
Bags become barriers
There is no escape
I pick them up from handles
My food hangs
Gravity is tamed

My swipe completes the cycle
I don’t have to think to contribute to the rhythm

She hands me my a receipt /
Her mouth is mute
It’s her eyes that speak

– Eric McCarty (3/16/2012)

3 thoughts on “Wal-Mart

  1. That’s a very moving final line; simply expressed, but very effective: a sudden still moment of realisation amid all the mundanity (of the circumstances I mean, not your poem, which is anything but mundane!).

  2. Thank you BH,

    I wrote this about my experience yesterday. At first I felt stung because I actually said something like “How you doing” and got no response (this actually happens a lot to me I should be used to it). But I felt like there was something bothering her that I’d never understand and sometimes that’s just the way it is. And maybe if I were in her situation I wouldn’t see a reason to speak either. Regardless of if it’s a job requirement or not.

    So basically I’m really glad that you feel this is moving. It’s a moment that stays with me.

  3. Pingback: The Day I tried too Hard « gporiginal

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