Archives for posts with tag: parent and child

kidhood at kmart haiku
by J. Diego

wafting popcorn scent
cherry or cola icees
mom wheels cart past them

parked in weedy lot
to purchase socks, gloves, school stuff
glean the wealthy shelves

K-Ranch jeans, cheap shoes,
cleaning supplies and watches,
look, blue light special…

Photo by Happyshooter, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

Note from photographer (South Sacramento, California): I guess it was worth trekking down to Fruitridge and Stockton to photograph this sign before it got taken down. It’s been 3 years or so…I miss this sign. I don’t think there are any left of this iconic sign from my childhood.

by Lawrence Kearney

Mother is off to LADIES WEAR,
As usual, I’m with him.
Passing HARDWARE, he instructs me
in the merits of variable-speed
drills, the sham of saber saws,
the parable of human folly
embodied in third-rate drop-forged
hammers. I nod. I’m twelve. He’s
teaching me to shop like a man.
a foray into COSMETICS
for deodorant & shave cream—
the lights droning overhead—
their rheumy incessant gossip,
here, in the one place we talk.
When it’s time to go, his lessons
lapse. He wanders off by himself,
whistling his special call for Mother:
two notes
so high & clear they rise
above the whole store—
that tired adult head, the jowls
rich with ridicule, with affection, Father
floating there like some exotic bird—
calling again & again for his unseen lover
across the abyss of goods
between them. 

Photo: Interior of a 1970s Kmart, from The Grand Emporiums: The Illustrated History of America’s Great Department Stores by Robert Hendrickson (available at