Monday, May 17, 2021

Robert Cooperman


We’re two of the lucky ones,
our groceries delivered, though
feelings of guilt it’s so easy,
while so many suffer food insecurity:
a polite way of saying they go hungry,
have to risk their health, their lives,
to shop in supermarkets.

But as I said, we’re among the lucky ones,
the ones with money, with credit cards,
the ones who don’t have to venture out,
like mice fearing the cat’s lurking jaws.

The ones who can order cookies,
pecan tarts, ice cream, not just vegetables,
provisions to make stews that last all week,
who can call up the local pizzeria,
the catering service, and pretend nothing
strange and dreadful has occurred,

that hundreds of thousands haven’t died
from Covid, gasping, alone, terrified.
That others haven’t been shot or choked
by the police in that other pandemic,
because they’re Black which, in America,
seems to be a capital offense.

So yes, we don’t have to worry about
being murdered, about empty bellies,
about not having chocolate chip cookies
for three o’clock snack time.

Gerald So reads "Food Shopping..."

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Bob confesses: "This poem has been simmering for a while, the recognition that my wife and I are lucky, with enough resources to ride out Covid and with the right skin color to avoid being shot by trigger-happy cops, while others aren't nearly as fortunate."

ROBERT COOPERMAN's latest collection is The Ghosts and Bones of Troy (Aldrich Press). Forthcoming from Apprentice House is Go Play Outside, which chronicles Cooperman's lifelong one-way love affair with basketball. Also just available is the chapbook, All Our Fare-Thee-Wells from Finishing Line Press.

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