Ode to Fred’s

Fred’s, you Super Dollar Store
tucked behind a Waffle House and a Sonic drive-through
along Highway 165 in Sterlington, Louisiana,
how many times have I parked in your lot
to pick up something I forgot on my weekend
shopping trip only to be detoured inside displays
of purple, silver, blue foil trees on sale
from last Christmas’ Christmas, stacks
of Little Debbie Cakes, 4-H hair nestled
inside a straw hat urging me to bring home
a caramel cookie bar, half-off red stickers,
mark-downs of fleece sweatpants from Pakistan,
China, costing less than from any other place
even Walmart, which is what a man told me
who wanted to buy one but didn’t have enough money
and wished he did, when suddenly I time-traveled
back to the Bronx beneath the subway going
in and out of stores on my way home from school
in a heavy wool overcoat, gloves attached to sleeves
with suspenders so I wouldn’t lose them,
turning over each item wondering when I’d be able
to step up to the counter, studying others
who filled plastic baskets,
all the bright colors of adulthood.

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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