Wednesday, July 18, 2012

September 21, 2012

*** Writing Tip: To help you get started begin by finding an author's poem and mimicking it as closely as you can.  Here I used Elizabeth Bishop's "In the Waiting Room" as a base.***

In Salt Lake City
I went to the mall
to shop and have some fun.
I walked and searched
in every single store.
It was fall.  Everyone wore
jackets.  The mall
was full of teenagers
flip flops and high tops
lights and sale signs
The mall stayed open
what seemed like a long time
and while there I shopped
in Down East
I didn't have money but
still studied the clothes:
the polka dotted dress
the black pencil skirt,
lovely, with large numbers on tags;
Then it was burning desire
to have the un-atainable.
Large pink bracelets
with tiny bows on them,
undershirts, and swimsuits.
A sweater slung over a shoulder
--- "Beautiful," my caption said.
Babies on hips of new mothers
crying and being silenced;
a store clerk, with keys
to open the dressing room
while she was on the clock
doing a job she didn't want to do.
Her earrings were beautiful.
I wished I had pierced ears.
I had always been to scared.
I looked across the way:
Claire's, free piercings, today.

Then from within
came a sting of pain
--a customer's voice--
soft and sweet.
I wasn't surprised
to hear her ask about the sale
an unsuspecting woman.
I shouldn't eavesdrop
but I wasn't ashamed. What
I felt
Was that it was me:
uneducated and vulnerable.
Thinking too much
I turned into a miserable woman
I--we--were so dumb,
believing everything we saw
at Down East
September 21, 2012.

I told myself: here you are
twenty hears old.
I said it to stop
the feeling I was young
and stupid, self-conscious
in the store's tight space.
But I decided I was me,
I was a Sarah,
I was just a shopper.
Why was I anyway?
I didn't dare to see
dig deep to find the answer.
I gave a passing glance
--I couldn't look longer--
at bright colors,
blouses and clearance racks
stylish and ugly
walking around the store.
Why was I a shopper
me or anyone else?
we all had so much in common--
girls searching for  beauty
I felt ugly in
the Down East store
and the sales racks--
held us in common
or made us all the same?
How--I wasn't quite sure
Why I had come here
like them, and hear
a question asked
to take advantage of naivety.

Down East was florescent and
too crowded.  I was getting dizzy,
falling to the ground,
sweating more and more.

Then I became the store.
People walked inside me.  Outside,
in Salt Lake City,
it was rainy and brisk,
and it was still the twenty first
of September, 2012.

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