Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Shopping Together

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

This week's poem by the late Robert Siegel of South Berwick takes us to the mysterious world of the supermarket.

Shopping Together by Robert Siegel

Cardboard stars crowd the shelves,
and moons marked off a penny,
as you glide, standing on the cart,
to a touch in any direction.
We shine in a dusk of eggplants, 
sleepy with a perfume of apples,
wander forests of asparagus,
drift in a green ocean
of lettuce, avocados, celery,
down an avalanche of oranges
to a wilderness of bananas--
an El Dorado of lavish aromas.
Still, beyond the parsley are berries
superfluous with juice
that break in our mouths like old sorrows,
and melons like a school of whales
shouldering a cool secret
over the edge of the world.
All the way home, bags leaning
lovesick against us,
we feed each other plums and dark cherries.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2006 Robert Siegel. Reprinted from A Pentecost of Finches: New & Selected Poems, published in 2006 by Paraclete Press, by permission of Robert Siegel. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.