Child in the thick of yearning. Doll carted and pushed 
like child. The aisles purport opportunities — 

looking up, the women's chins, the straight rows 
of peas and pretzels, Fizzies' foils, hermetic 

boxes no one knows. I'll get it! What thing therein 
— bendy straws, powder blue pack Blackjack gum — 

will this child fix upon? On TV, women with grocery carts 
careen down aisles to find expensive stuff. Mostly, 

this means meat. This, then, is a life. This, a life 
that's woven wrong and, woven once, disbraided, sits 

like Halloween before a child, disguised in its red 
Santa suit, making its lap loom the poppy field 

Dorothy wants to bed. Can I have and the song's begun. 
O world spotted through more frugal legs. O world. 

From Ledger by Susan Wheeler. Copyright © 2005 by Susan Wheeler. Reprinted with permission of the University of Iowa Press. All rights reserved.