“Kmart’s Closing” by Charlotte Matthews

Charlotte Matthews


and everything’s on sale.
Even the bathmats look beleaguered,
aware of their uncertain future.
I buy a miniature plum tree at half price,
but when I get it to the car and place it
on the floorboard of the backseat, it looks
at me regretfully, like both of us are doomed.
Me and the plum tree done for.
Long gone are the blue light specials,
which could happen at any moment,
astound you with a flashing light and siren
right in the middle of a store.
I tell all this to the oldest man in my
mindfulness group. He listens,
like you’d expect him to, then shows me
a photo of a metallic butterfly that floated
just this morning right over his yard.

from Rattle #62, Winter 2018


Charlotte Matthews: “When I read in the paper that our local Kmart in Charlottesville was closing, I took myself on a field trip there, and the experience was startling. The emptiness of the place resounded. So this poem is a reporting on that trip.” (web)

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