If you had asked me today whether or not writing poetry should be on my to-do list, I might have laughed at you. But knowing that the universe has a way of conspiring, and knowing that grocery list poetry is a thing in this world, I felt compelled. What I loved were the ways this poem unfolded and surprised me in ways I didn’t quite expect. Enjoy.
In the way-too-early morning,
In my hurry out the door
Obligations (too many for my own good)
Slung from my shoulders, my back –
I catch, among the rocks,
Someone’s grocery list
Delivered to my doorstep,
And I wonder:
-Whose list is this?
-Did they ever get their pancetta?
-Do they always cook like that?
-Or is it for company?
-And can I be invited?
-Is it true what they say, that there is poetry in lists?
-And why did this one find me?
-Did it blow out an open car window,
On a warm February day,
-Did it slip from the wallet of a grown-up,
Anxious to get going?
-Is anyone missing it?
-How do they know what they’ve got?
-How do they know what they need?
-And how many things
With no one to feel their loss?
-(c) Lainie Levin, Feb. 25, 2020