Sunday, September 13, 2009


Pearl Ocean swung her handbag over
the cart’s handlebar, smacking
the plastic seat protector so soundly
it cracked.

Mrs. Chevalier shook her head
“I heard that, Pearl,” she scolded.
The newlywed smiled sheepishly,
“Jes not used to grocery shopping, I guess.”

“Mrs. Ocean, Mrs. Ocean,” the clerk
waved her slender hand in Pearl’s direction.
Pearl kept walking.
“Ain’t used to her married name, neither,”
muttered Cleomaude Chevalier.

Catching up to the young bride,
the clerk handed Pearl a slip
of paper, a five dollar bill, and 42 cents.
“Your change, Mrs. Ocean.”

“Why, thank you Bettis,” she
smiled, shoving the money into her bra.
Bettis raised her eyebrows, but said nothing.

Finally home, Pearl opened up her purse
and dumped out two dozen plastic forks,
seventeen plastic spoons, and eight single-
serving sized bags of oyster crackers.

“Cheap as chips, but I cain’t stop with one,” she lamented.

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