Archives for posts with tag: retail

ribbons valeie
Revelation in Retail
by Andrea Potos

They told me to leave the register;
I wandered gladly to the ribbon aisle,
to replenish all the spools where I could.
At my feet, a box of overstock.
I stood there, struck
by all the hues, announcing
their presence—
red like the pith of each rose
in Queen Mary’s garden,
silver sheened like etched
lightning in late summer.
And the green—oh the green—
the forest I once dream-walked
through and thought I had lost.
And then the ivory, gleaming
like the insides of a shell, or the pearlescent
sky on that morning my daughter
first arrived in this world.

“Revelation in Retail” appears in the author’s collection Marrow of Summer (Kelsay Books, 2021).

Photo by Valeie. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem celebrates one moment in an otherwise tiring and rather monotonous day working as a temporary employee during the holiday season one year. Suddenly I was surrounded by color and beauty, and I felt myself enlivened and refreshed by beauty.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrea Potos is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Marrow of Summer (Kelsay Books), Mothershell (Kelsay Books), A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry, Ireland) and An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry, Ireland).  Her poems can be found widely in print and online.  A new collection, entitled Her Joy Becomes, is forthcoming from Fernwood Press in fall 2022.

costco kathy images1 licensed
text poem
PHOTO: Shoppers practice social distancing while lined up at Costco (April 2020). Photo by Kathy Images1, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve been a health-care worker for In-Home Support Services for over three years and was a private care provider before that. As an essential worker, I do the shopping and other legwork so my client can stay home and not be exposed to COVID-19. I couldn’t tell you how much of what people feel in the first-responder line is shared necessity, how much is shared time with others serving our communities, or how much is an enforced time-out that lets us regroup.


Jonathan Yungkans is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer with an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in San Pedro Poetry Review, Synkroniciti, West Texas Literary Review, and other publications. His second poetry chapbook, Beneath a Glazed Shimmer, won the 2019 Clockwise Chapbook Prize and is slated for release by Tebor Bach Publishing in 2020.

licensed trong nguyen
Waiting in the Home Depot Parking Lot
by Rikki Santer

From the capsule of my husband’s van,
I peer through a veil of windshield
raindrops muting images of so many
t-shirted men carting the heavy currency
of American hologram. Some corpulent,
others wiry, some wear flag bandanas
or craggy faces that they’ve earned.
This tattooed guard takes shelter
around pallets, drag on Camels, laugh
at strangers’ kids, startle a fragile parade
of goslings making its way beneath
their rusted pick-up trucks with
mudflap girls. Biding tides of national
meanness, I project our respective
repositories of judgment, our adverbs
jam-packed with yes & no.
Rain gets harder, a day’s damp tang,
our lives numbed by soundbites & tweets
and the narrow of what we each believe
from our tiny berths.

PHOTO: Home Depot store somewhere in the USA by Trong Nguyen, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is a response to one of my neighborhood landmarks that shows up, according to the company’s website, in more than 2,200 locations in North America.

Rikki Santer photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rikki Santer’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications both nationally and abroad, including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, The Journal of American Poetry, Hotel Amerika, Crab Orchard Review, Grimm, Slipstream, and The Main Street Rag. Her work has received many honors, including five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Her eighth collection, Drop Jaw, inspired by the art of ventriloquism, was published by NightBallet Press in the spring of 2020. Visit her at