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.


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
and nowhere
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
still talking.

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
in me
that makes me
so invisible
to her.

— Susan Taylor Brown
All Rights Reserved

The round-up is at Becky’s Book Reviews today.