An Old Lady Goes Grocery Shopping – Joan McNerney


First of all, it is difficult to express
how much I hate this crappy store
plus facing so many sour looks.

Can only purchase a few things
because of all those stairs I must
climb getting to my apartment.

First I walk around in a trance
trying to find my few items.
Next comes the horrible part.

No matter how great my effort, it is
impossible to keep up with cashiers.
They rush us through like cattle.

The conveyor belt is too fast for words.
I just put my groceries out and they
are priced. Next comes my debit card.

Some places also want their special
store card. This is to take advantage
of their measly sales. Thrilling.

Where is my debit card? O there it is,
but it is hard to get the sequence of keys
right. How many people are behind me?

Of course, they would like me to bag
my own stuff. I HAVE NEVER DONE
THAT even in my more youthful days.

Leaving the store with the sinking
sensation of being too slow. Tramping
down to my vehicle with some wobbly cart.

What is this “have a nice day” bull?
Boy, am glad that is over and don’t care
if their cart lands up in Siberia.

Can’t wait to get home to a long beer.

About the contributor: Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on and  She has four Best of the Net nominations. 

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