Groceries and other poems by WK Lawrence

Your passing wind captures me
Gently mistakes me for another cold heart
Like the ones you find in the frozen foods section
Sorting through processed fish
Comparing prices
Or worse.

No, I used to be there
But now I’m picking up cucumbers,
Tomatoes, oranges, and bananas.
I’m feeling them in my hands
The curves, the smooth organic skins
Not the waxed stuff.

I saw you too
Grazing your hands
Over the cauliflower
Thinking about it
Just before you stormed off
Passing me
On your way to the canned goods.

No, turn around.


Slanted light
On her hips
The jury acquits
And we are free, free,
Free of a strident hold
Galloping hard into the sunset
High colors
Fair reasons
An angel coaxed in
For a ride through the country
Breathe easy
Pace yourself, darling
You don’t want to run out of fuel
in Kansas.
Hold on
Don’t want to fall off
In Colorado.
When we get to the other side of the mountain
Let it break free
And run
Down towards those cushioned puffy clouds
Then we’ll pull the world over us.

Secrets of the Soul

Rain soaked nights
Bare skin shiny
No reminder of my Promethean chains
A sentinel wind
Slicing the night with our moves
Goddess and man
No future, no history
Only each breath
In and then released
Into a plate-blue sky
Over this country-side grass
No blankets, no bed
Just fire and grace
Flashing, swinging
Counting the steps that lie between us.


Jimmy dreams of a big square red house
surrounded by sunflowers
only a drive away
from waterfalls and mossy streams.
He wants to take that drive
everyday to work
to photograph the scenery,
film some animals too
film them in motion
maybe dying.

“But who’s going to pay me for my work,
a middle class guy like me?”
he asks himself.
“I’ve got bills to pay,
places to go,
things to buy.”
So he gets a job in sales,
buys a big square red house
surrounded by sunflowers
only a drive away
from the guy who sacrificed
and lives
and breathes
someone else’s dream.


WK Lawrence is the author of the novel The Punk and the Professor (AH Press, Maryland). He holds an MFA from the Southampton Writers’ Program and a doctorate in education from Northeastern University. Born and raised in New York, he has also lived in Oregon, Virginia, Florida, and Rhode Island. He currently lives in North Carolina, teaches writing at NC State University, and directs the NC State Young Writers’ Workshops. Follow at

1 Comment on Groceries and other poems by WK Lawrence

  1. very fine writing


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