At the Peterson Avenue Target, March 2012
by Jennifer Finstrom

My soon-to-be-ex-husband rents a car and takes me to Target. The lease on my new place begins on March 15, but I’m able to bring some things over early, before the movers come on the weekend. We’ve managed to continue living together in semi-amiable silence since agreeing to separate, but finding a new place is a relief. Here at Target, we take the escalator up from the parking garage and get a cart without speaking.

In a few weeks, I will write a fictionalized account of this shopping trip for a writing workshop and describe selecting glassware and plates, Tupperware and utensils, sheets and a duvet as we push the cart around the store. Many classmates will say that it isn’t believable, and I have to agree—it really isn’t, even as it’s happening. But neither was the trip to the mattress store off the Berwyn Red Line stop, and that really happened too.

He drops me off, and I load about a dozen Target bags onto a cart and wheel it into the freight elevator. In my new apartment, the rooms are still mostly empty, so I sit on the floor after putting everything away. The windows all face west, and even though the lake is right across the street on the other side, what I can see from here is a view of the neighborhood from eight floors up, no real sign of spring, a pale and wintry sky. My new bed won’t be delivered until Friday, but all I want to do is stay here, opening and shutting the cupboards and looking at everything that is new.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My kitchen when I first moved in—it isn’t that tidy or empty anymore!

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve had many memorable moves, for one reason or another, and it was difficult to decide which one to focus on. Someday I’ll write about what it’s been like moving my ever-growing personal library from place to place!


Jennifer Finstrom
 teaches in the First-Year Writing Program, tutors in writing, and facilitates writing groups at DePaul University. She is the poetry editor of Eclectica Magazine, and recent publications include Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Escape Into Life, Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, and NEAT. For Silver Birch Press, she has work appearing in The Great Gatsby Anthology, the Alice in Wonderland Anthology, and in Ides: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks, as well as forthcoming in the Nancy Drew Anthology.