Friday evening in Acme

By Marianne Koluda Hansen

all of them
have someone
to come home to
I can tell by their
shopping carts
that are bulging with security
belonging and well-being
neck chops on sale
dog-food and munchies
weekend candy for the kids
a half-gallon of wine and baking potatoes
giant- economy- and
family packs
diapers and french cheeses

heavy worn-down women
with knit caps
and striped bags
brand new mothers
and bearded men
authoritative wives
and young couples
some without coats
so you can tell
that the car is waiting out there
and they all
have someone
to come home to

and here I come
with a pint of low fat yoghurt
and half a rye bread
naked
as you only can be
friday evening in Acme
it is embarrassing not being loved
and all of them can see it
and they don’t believe
that my husband is just
on a trip
and the kids
with the grandparents
for the weekend

I leave the line
grab a couple of steaks
a good bottle of wine
and a large rye bread
three pairs of men’s socks
a dozen eggs
two bags of cookies
ten condoms
four pacifiers
forty diapers
a half gallon of milk
a bottle of after-shave
and a pack of frozen
unpeeled shrimp
it’s going to be expensive
and then I’ve got to stand in line again
it’s totally crazy
but it doesn’t matter
now it’s like it’s easier
to look people in the eye

By Marianne Koluda Hansen ©1979 “Fredag aften i Irma”
Translated by Michael Goldman
Originally published in The International Poetry Review, 2015