Grocery Cashier

After punching in, she opens her
register, counts bills and splits
up rolls of coins. Her arms ache
from yesterday.  From pulling together
store items, piling them in bags.

Another day in this dismal place.
Saccharine MUSAC, dim lights
dreary corridors, dingy floors.
No clock, no water fountain,
no public restroom. Aisles stocked
with cans, boxes, frozen foods.

Pushing carts full of packaged meat,
donuts, cases of beer...customers
creep up in line. Trance-like they
press forward with crinkled coupons,
handing out cash or swiping cards.

A camera is poised on her.
Registers are monitored and
the number of sales counted.
Making sure nothing slips by,
“The Man” is always watching

-Jpan McNerney


Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work.  Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations. 

PoetryJulia NusbaumComment