The Truth about Shopping

today a woman went mad in the supermarket
pigeon eyes flapping
        a whirrrr like card decks
                        shivering into place

not staring quite
onlookers understated as grey weather

through the feathers
and coughing
nobody knew what to do
the pink skin of panic

it was in the cereal aisle
colourful boxes boasting fibre,
energy and plastic toys
or cards to collect 
                 but nothing about 

compassion 
for a woman undone
loose as a shoelace
hair crimped like ticker tape

and she yelled 
louder than the 
canned music in the aisle next door

โ€œYou canโ€™t fly today, my sweet
because the clouds
are full hard with  evaporated steel
and the forked up gas remains
of every dying thing
every blood cell
dehydrated in the sun
every skin sheet,  flaked to breaking
every morsel of living thereness
sucked upward for the rainโ€

but then
like her words had 
freed us from silence
somebody put an arm around her shoulder
and held her wings in close

and I thought I heard them say 
Mamma is coming
Mamma is coming

I really hoped she would

         and here am I cooking dinner
            and telling you 
               because I found 
                  grey feathers
            like omens in the celery

Does it scare you?

Written for Go Dog Go Cafe Week Two Brave and Reckless Using the book title “Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket”

19 thoughts on “The Truth about Shopping

  1. This had me reading really quickly because I wanted a happy ending for the poor woman. On a second more leisurely reading, the imagery starting with the pink skin of panic and continuing in a similar vein is simply terrific. I’m trying to say, I really enjoyed this. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My neighbour has occasionally psychotic episodes just like that. We always take her kids in when sheโ€™s in hospital. It just comes on without warning. The mind is a trickster.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the title drew me; I’ve ordered a book at the library whose title is the same as your first line; watching someone unravel in a public place is a terrifying experience; your lady’s rant is as oerfervid in Howard Beale’s in ‘Network’ ; loved the last stanza ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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