I can be a corporate hater. I can also be a corporate lover. Today the latter!
Ode to the Big Box
Yes, we need little local shops,
clothiers and bakeries and gift boutiques.
I will plunk down a twenty and change at Elliot Bay Book Company
for the hardcover, Turning Homeward
written by a Seattleite about
creek restoration even though I could get the
same pulp and ink for half price on Amazon.
I don’t want to pay double, but I do.
Amazon where I buy most everything
is also a local Seattle business
and holds job fairs for thousands,
they have so many interns,
the city has added extra bus lines.
In Seattle, love our local means
embracing the monoliths Costco and Microsoft,
Nordstrom and Alaska Air.
For now, Amazon’s packages are still delivered
by a boxy brown truck and a smiling driver
who wears shorts in December.
Healthy attachment requires consistency,
support and accessibility.
As babies we test,
Is someone there and can they help me?
Starbucks employees are trained to ask of your day
and to genuinely care about the answer,
teaching few parents nowadays seem to manage.
When a Safeway grocery employee
offers to show me exactly where
the rice cakes are on aisle four,
a primal wound is tended.
My psychology professor when talking about childhoods
with not enough attachment quipped,
and we wonder why we drink so many lattes.
The teat at Target wears a red shirt and khakis,
at Best Buy, blue polos,
at Home Depot, an orange apron.
We are baby ducks still imprinting,
mirror neurons at eighty still fire away.
Most humans have a third place,
respite between home and work,
a few generations ago it was a chess board outside the corner store,
the kitchen table of an aunt or grandma,
your friend’s front porch on the walk home from the factory.
I cite certain nature trails and on those a
couple of select trees, but also also also
these days I seek that warm milky
everything is going to be ok beverage,
usually at Starbucks.
I love knowing in Everytown, U.S.A. I can find
frosted lemon loaf and a decaf Americano,
a coffee condiment bar which offers
raw sugar and lots of cream.
I also purchase people watching,
eavesdropping (yesterday a sweet teenage son and his mother).
I procure a little round table with an outlet at my heels,
chit chat about a woman's cute purse,
perhaps an appropriately flirty glance,
a clean bathroom, a girl could hardly ask for more.
I stop there in the morning to finish a poem,
I stop to regroup before picking up my kids from school,
I stop by because after writing all day
I need to put on real clothes for someone,
I stop for chocolate covered salted almonds
after being bitchy to a loved one,
they are handed to me by someone who assumes I am kind.
Little censors in my brain alight
when I see the Target bullseye,
Starbuck's plump mermaid is body positive,
when I was in kindergarten I drew Walmart’s yellow sun.
The world is a swish, it is a little blue bird,
an apple with a bite,
the world is full of golden arches.
People, corporations are run by people,
people who once needed their tears and asses wiped.
Most of what many hold most precious
was excellent branding and a taproot into
primitive needs for connection and comfort.
Think Santa, the Easter bunny, Valentines Day,