Shopping Together 

By Robert Siegel 

Cardboard stars crowd the shelves,

and moons marked off a penny,

as you glide, standing on the cart,


to a touch in any direction.

We shine in a dusk of eggplants,

sleepy with a perfume of apples,


wander forests of asparagus,

drift in a green ocean

of lettuce, avocados, celery,


down an avalanche of oranges

to a wilderness of bananas–

an El Dorado of lavish aromas.


Still, beyond the parsley are berries

superfluous with juice

that break in our mouths like old sorrows,


and melons like a school of whales

shouldering a cool secret

over the edge of the world.


All the way home, bags leaning

lovesick against us,

we feed each other plums and dark cherries.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2006 by Robert Siegel. Reprinted from “A Pentecost of Finches: New & Selected Poems,” published in 2006 by Paraclete Press, by permission of Robert Siegel. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, special consultant to the Maine poet laureate, at [email protected] or 228-8263. “Take Heart: Poems from Maine,” an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.