Saturday, December 24, 2011

Waiting for a 40” Inch Flat Screen at Wal-Mart on the Night of Thanksgiving Day

 By Jen Hunt
You are thankful
It is warmer
Than years past
So warm
You could leave your coat
In the van
Parked in the shuttered store’s lot
Across the road

Though it’s dark
You can be forgiven
The morning nod
You gave the yellow-vests
Flanking the doors
Like Sunday’s ushers

At nine you snagged the tail of
The flat screen line
And once in, there was
No exit
From time to time
Checking your pocket
For the tiny paper
Proving you  yes  you belonged
In the Doorbuster Book of Life

You heard the mad howls at ten
When the pallet of PS3 games was
Torn open and
Emptied in five minutes
Thinking how tame the food lines
In Somalia
Pressed your sons closer and
Tried to balance
Atop the toilet roll bundle
Bracing your frame
The hours they seemed
Interminable

At eleven you gazed
Past the ant trap aisle
Toward the arc of humanity
Pushing carts
And scanning circulars
“On my way back from
The restroom found DVD’s for two dollars
Got my sister taken care of
Get one for you if you like?”
Offered one gold-goateed comrade
Before confessing
He digs his girlfriend’s mom

You can be forgiven for
Missing laptop spoils
Because you did in fact
Eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day
You can be forgiven for twice
Losing your offspring in the crowd
Forgiven for offering them cured
Beef snacks from a baggie
Right there on the floor

It is not even midnight
Your yams have not digested
It will be some time
Before the countdown to twelve
Amid New Years-esque chants
Before the midnight queue
When the woman in the black burka
At the back of the store
Will complete your sale
Once the phone lines are back up
And the competitor ads have been tallied

And don’t forget
The last line you will take outside
In the dark
Around back
When a boy hauls the large box
To your trunk
Warning you to 
Warm the chilled contents
One hour before use

Tomorrow the sun will rise
On you
And your box
Then you must arrange your den
To fit it
Find a stand
To bear it
And a cloth
To cover it
Until Christ’s Birth Day
Surely your sons
Will have good news to tell their friends this year
You hope
As you sit on your bundle
And wait
On Thanksgiving Day

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