Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wise Choices


Barely as tall as the shopping cart,
I could tell that we were getting closer to the produce aisle
As fresh peach and apple fragrances greeted my nose.
I reached upward toward the sparkling display of grapes.
I noticed that my mother’s navy blue sneakers kept on walking.
“We’re boycotting grapes,” she said as she pushed the shopping cart
Past the green and purplish-black jewels
Without missing a beat.

(I thought of one day during the previous school year
When we had an assembly because a great man had died.
We saw a film about bus boycotts and lunch counters,
And signs that said who could drink at which water fountain.)

I turned and looked at the forlorn grape display,
Realizing that they did not look as sumptuous as they did two minutes ago. 
And that was the day I learned to shop.

© Judith C Evans 2014

Shared at Poets United Midweek Motif . . . this week's prompt is BOYCOTT

14 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Fantastic, Judith. It is amazing the profound life lessons children learn from so few words from their parents. Cool!

John G Evans said...

This poem is awesome! You write so very well and speak volumes with just a word! Great talent....

Judith C Evans said...

Thank you, John, for always encouraging me to write!
Yes, Sherry, my parents taught me by example and the lessons have stayed with me. Thank you for reading and commenting!

Brian Miller said...

you know i did not know about the grape boycott until i was reading up on it for the prompt today...

ironically i harvested a big bowl of grape today from my vines...and enjoyed a bit of the jam made from them as well...

it is interesting though the things we learn...and learning to shop consciously, i am all for that...

J Cosmo Newbery said...

A grape boycott? Hasn't made the news this side of the equator but well done for standing on a principle.

Jae Rose said...

Shopping with a conscience...it is a learnt skill for sure but certainly worth it...

Susan said...

A brilliant poem! May it travel far! The way you set it up shows that a decision in a store rests on a story and is not simple. How the mother taught that shows that a child doesn't need to be spoon fed to make a connection, a child needs to see more than one approach to the world. Love the final line. Thank you!

Sumana Roy said...

it's amazing to learn how the word boycott takes on so much significance and gets attached to history in so many countries...nice take on the prompt..

Moonie said...

I love the symbol of the grape and it's long lasting reminder.

Arushi Ahuja said...

what a picturesque story!! what a mother can teach a child in a few words no one can!! beautiful

grapeling said...

An ode to Cesar Chavez - I remember well ~

G L Meisner said...

Very well written and enlightening.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

I am finally catching up on my blog reading! Been so busy writing, other things have slipped by. Excellent post, Judith. You took me back to my own childhood and how my parents shopped (and still do). Life lessons in the produce section. Great memories and a good moral lesson. Thank you for sharing with us.

Judith C Evans said...

Glad you liked the poem, Cecilia. Isn't it amazing how ordinary actions -- like shopping -- can carry so much weight. Have a wonderful weekend!