AT THE STORE by Rodica Stan

Trucks flew up in the air like feathers in a final tarantella.

“Another tornado has hit a densely populated area in Kansas.”

Dorothy could no longer return home, red shoes, dog, and all…


I hear the news while shopping at Macys, where I came

For an hour of browsing and reminding myself of my purpose,

To inventory the abundance of stuff stimulating the economy,

And which is so much stuff that will eventually end up in piles of trash

On an island or an ocean, shiny stuff that will turn dirty and crack,

Like us, killing our planet of thriving economies.


Among avocado knives, individual onion storage boxes, and salad spinners,

I realize plastic is the wind surrounding us tight in the eye of the tornado.

Would the Kansas tornado have taken Lucy’s roof up and Ton’s truck up

In the sky and drop them onto the pediatric hospital, if I wanted a small house,

Not a big villa, an investment, and a small bike, not a large truck or sports car,

And the list goes on and on… all because I chose to show off my status and compete…


My purpose now, feeling crushed by the tornado news and avalanche of Macy’s stuff,

Is to resist. Like a tree, with deep roots, I’ll hold hands with my fellows,

Dim the lights, walk and bike, eat light, share crops, and plant milkweed.


Rodica Stan, fifty five, lives in Alexandria, Virginia. She works as a scientist in drug development.

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