“Buying Produce from the Marked-Down Cart” by Lynn Levin

Lynn Levin


The Minor Virtues

I rescue them at times from the back of the store—
cellophaned oranges and apples
packaged good-side-up.
I imagine them as little brains
thinking of the days when they were on the tree
and full of promise.

Mostly I leave the rusty beans, blotched pears
to the gleaners, calling to mind my days
as a gleaner at Dominicks and Star
when I approached with furtive hunch
the scratched and bruised, bought them

with my meager pay. What a bounty of salads and pies
they made me who saved them from the heap.
More than anything I hate waste
and yet how much
of my own life have I let go unused.

from Rattle #49, Fall 2015

[download audio]


Lynn Levin: “I love to describe things in my poems. Somehow I think that expands or extends life as we know it. Right now I am interested in celebrating small practices in a series of poems I am calling The Minor Virtues. These poems seek to capture pleasant things, although some of these pleasant things may have a dark border.” (website)

Rattle Logo