Pita Chips Allowed On Island

This day is an island of fog.
Naked on a bench, I don’t care too much
that my gynecologist calls me honey.
I don’t worry over the worn fabric
barely covering my right toe.
All that matters are the results.
If I’m abnormal–again,
we’re going to do something about it.
What the heck is a phrase
Dr. Hansen &I say a lot.
She’s said it twice already
about her rescue dog’s weird behaviors.
She’s also told me twice,
you’re falling apart on me.

What the heck!
I still need to row across town
to Costco &nab an orange
forklift aircraft carrier cart
to load up on dog food &toilet paper.
In the checkout lane I might abandon ship
to retrieve a bag of forgotten spinach ravioli.
Upon return I’ll strike a deal with another
blonde woman for my spot back in line.
We’ll understand each other, because
she’ll ask me to pull her cart along
while she likewise runs back for a bag
of pita chips like mine.  And pasta.
I will simultaneously love &disdain her
(but mostly love), because it’s her &I
in this sea of forgetfulness &she holds
a place for me.

for Real Toads


29 thoughts on “Pita Chips Allowed On Island

  1. Oh, my, this is grand. And not just because last night I was called “Honey” by the same cashier at least six times in a two-minute transaction at the grocery store. (But she was so nice about it.) The way you merge gynecological issues with shopping for dog food is startlingly good. I am drawn in. Yeah, I wouldn’t like her (the other shopper), too, just for copying you. Though I am glad pita chips are allowed on the island (or will be served from a kitchen island). Never been to Costco. Though I saw it once in a movie.

    Thanks so much!

    1. I used to HATE it that strangers called me honey. I found it condescending, but now, meh. If they think I’m sweet, so be it. I found that that mirror image woman and I yesterday found each other at the right moment, and leaned on one another. It was fun.

    1. It was the best and worst day (what am I, Dickens??) After my 5:30am drive in the fog to said Doctor, more crap in the afternoon, I slit my wrist on a can of beans that night! I am falling apart, or tired, or stupid, or done.

  2. The fear and longing (as opposed to loathing) are so present here–really wonderfully done, very easy to relate to, a wonderful sense of humor in the midst of this dread. Thanks. k.

  3. God, Angie. Head-to-toe shivers. I’m completely quaking over this. Incredibly powerful work, my dear.

    “Naked on a bench, I don’t care too much
    that my gynecologist calls me honey.” … cracked me up, but also let me see exactly where this was going

    And that whole bit about you and the grocery-store stranger having each other’s back … man, really strong writing.

    1. You are the best commentator Shawna!! This was quite the day for me, but actually also typical. This poem was centered originally on my rage against cutting my wrist on a can of refried beans. When I cut that out (oops, no pun intended), I saw that the focus of my whole day centered around that lady in Costco. 😊 I wasn’t the only one that didn’t have my shit together.

  4. I believe in the art of morphing the scary into funny, and you do this so well. Some doctors can be rather detached, especially the ones who forget that although they’ve seen something a thousand times, the thing is always new (even if it has happened to us hundreds of times). I like the focus of the poem, the ending… the hope in embracing the yumminess of knowing that we are not alone… other people are as messed up as we are. So we will survive… and probably be awesome at it. 🙂

  5. I so read the entire island in that one day, start to finish, both the upwelling trouble at the gynocologist and its spillage in the checkout line, the tilted madness of the rogue blonde sisters spelling each other to chase down the inevitably missed item on the list (because it was never there, but was exactly what they really wanted). Somehow it read as a Robert Lowell confessional, maybe it was the refined madness of it, the precise contours of a spinning island of a day of a life of an art of a heart. It’s dizzy and lonely and true.

  6. That first stanza is so solid I thought the poem ended there, but the second came at the idea from such a unique angle and your summation brought everything together. Sometimes a stranger can make us feel less adrift than people we know.

  7. Love this. I can relate to it all. I think I’ll take my time here and visit some of your other posts. You sound like someone who is a friend but I just hadn’t met you yet.

  8. Wonderful – I was there with you at Costco (we like those same spinach zucchini with a roast chicken) and not there with you at the ob/gyn. Hope you’re not falling too much apart – I would miss you too much. Happy new everything – Mosk

  9. it’s the Costcode – the sisterhood / brotherhood of membership, from pilfered 2nd snacks to resting in the lounge chair to eyeing with envy the large expensive whiskey bottles. ~

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