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This is America

“I’ll take you to the grocer’s,” my mother said,

and took me to the supermarket.

She led me to the shelf

where each loaf of bread

was cocooned in its plastic wrapping.


When no-one was watching

she gave a loaf a punch

worthy of Sonny Liston.

As the Wonder Bread re-inflated

she said “This is America.”


My mother missed

driving her Morris Minor

to the long list of calls,

going to each patient’s house

to prod, palpate and listen.


She hadn’t wanted to leave,

but had followed my father

across the Atlantic Ocean

so he could start

his fine new job.


That summer, she clung to me

like a piece of Saran wrap

that catches on itself.

All I wanted

was to visit California.



                              Published in typishly 2018

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