I had hoped to have a new poem up today but I didn’t quite finish it. So I went looking through my archive for something to share and came across some poems that were cut from my book Hugging the Rock. If you’ve read the book you may remember a pivotal time for Rachel, the main character, when she goes grocery shopping with her dad. In an early version of the book I had this poem of Rachel shopping with her mom to show the differences. But in the end it was too much of a flashback and didn’t add anything new to the story.
GROCERY SHOPPING WITH MOM
At the grocery store
mom stops to talk to everyone.
She scoops up new babies
sings them lullabies
nuzzles their peach fuzz heads.
In the produce aisle she spouts advice
races off to give her coupons to the old man in the wheelchair
then slips a quarter into the rocket ship
for a skinny kid in a baseball cap.
She tosses boxes of cereal
into the cart
then dances away
chasing a guy blowing a harmonica.
I put four boxes back on the shelf
and trail after her.
In the pet food aisle
mom talks fast
her hands pointing everywhere
until the guy smiles
cups the harmonica
close to his mouth
and plays a sweet tune.
The guy tucks a bag of dog food
under one arm
and they both walk off
My mom marches beside him
right through the checkout stand
and out the door
and never once looks back at me.
I wait over an hour
watching the ice cream melt
and drip onto the loaf of bread
and a jar of pickles
wondering what is
that makes me
— Susan Taylor Brown
All Rights Reserved
from Laura @ AuthorAmok
Thanks for posting the cut poem, Susan. I love the way each thing you show the mother doing builds to the end of the poem. Looking forward to reading the book.
Re: from Laura @ AuthorAmok
Thank you, Laura
Hoo, that was quite poignant.
Best of wishes for a lovely season to you!
Thanks and right back at ya!
Too bad this poem was cut. It really shows the mother’s personality and problem and Rachel’s misinterpretation of it.
Thanks for posting it today, Susan.
Thank you. I think I could see why my editor said to cut it…it would have had to be a flashback and I think I hit my limit with those. 🙂
I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know how the poem relates to it, but taken as just a poem by itself, wow! Very moving.
I have lots of memories of grocery shopping with mom, and luckily NONE that involve her leaving me with the melting ice cream while she runs off with a guy and his dog food!
LOL – yes, my own memories of grocery shopping are quite different than this too, thank goodness.
The whole thing was wonderful, but I especially want to remark on the line with “nuzzle” and “fuzz” in it. How did you know to do that?
You may not like the answer. 🙂
Some lines like that are gifts to me. I’d love to tell you that I revised back and forth until the right words fell into place but what I posted was pretty much a first draft. I just dinked with the ending before I posted it.
That’s my problem with poetry – I don’t know enough to know what I do or don’t know. I just write what I’m inspired to write which makes repeating things hard. 🙂
Next year’s goal is to get more poetically educated.
This one got me, Susan. Or perhaps I got it. Thanks.
Thank you. It got me too at the time.
Oh, wow, Susan, that last sentence really leaves an impact with the reader. Nicely done. Thanks for sharing this one.
Thank you, Gisele.
Oh, Susan. Hugging the Rock is exactly right just as it is. But so is this poem. Thank you for sharing it.
Thanks, Amy. I appreciate your kind words.