Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Leah on Shopping

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Animal Crackers have gone the way of Farina.
Leah wouldn't be caught dead carrying

the little red and yellow box with its string handle.
Forget Farina. I tell her when I was a kid, I ate it

laced with brown sugar and butter. She rolls her eyes
at my dinosaur tale. I avoid stores that offer

pint-sized shopping carts, with pint-sized flags
and signs: Future Shopper. Leah doesn't need

inducements. Today a lanky old man guards
samples of Special K's new cinnamon and pecan.

Leah wolfs a miniature cupful. More, she says.
The man hands her a coupon. She thrusts it at me,

grabs a full cup with each hand and darts away.
Clutching a super-sized cereal box, I say,

Let's go to the park. You can climb on the monkey bars.
Leah says, Let's go to the mall and buy a pink bear.

But you have a million stuffed animals.
Arms akimbo, she slits her eyes, stamps her Nike sneaker,

and says, I need to rescue another one from the shelf.


Nancy Scott is the author of five collections of poetry and managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative in New Jersey. She is Mom to four children and Mimi to five grandchildren. Her work has been widely published in journals such as Mudfish, Witness, Poet Lore, Slant, Journal of New Jersey Poets, and The Ledge. Please visit her website.


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The poem is about me. I wanted a build-a-bear and my Mimi said no, but she bought me chocolate instead.
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