Who Would I Be If I Hadn’t Gone Shopping?


Returns - Shopping


Today’s poem for National Poetry Month was inspired by an excerpt from a lecture by John O’Donohue:

“materialism is an epistemology of quantity…the mistaken belief that through an accumulation, you can settle the task of your own identity.”

From The Inner Landscape.



Sometimes I still buy things for a life I no longer have
or maybe even for a life I never had,
but dreamed of.

On the brown chair in the corner,
the bag of things waits,
its logo wailing the Siren song
that I have followed down aisles and aisles and
virtual aisles
craving the sugar that would make me feel
beautiful or smart or at least slightly less

Even though they are perfect, or almost so, or not so at all,
I’m returning these things
because I feel worse keeping them.
They remind me of time I wasted
going off course, settling for rocks.

Who could I have been,
I wonder,
if I had chosen something
other than shopping?





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