We are buyers, plain and simple.
Nowadays it's the big box stores like Wal-Mart or Target that are the places that represent American culture. When I was a kid, it was the old Woolworth's store downtown. Dark, narrow aisles, but full of everything a kid could desire. F. W. Woolworth, W. T. Grant, S. S. Kresge are all gone, I believe.
This poem by Donald Hall, comes under the chapter "1966-1969" in the collection Old and New Poems (Ticknor & Fields, 1990) I think the speaker embarked upon the ultimate destination shopping trip!
My whole life has led me here.
Daisies made out of resin,
hairnets and submarines,
sandwiches, diaries, green
and a thousand boxes of cough drops.
Three hundred years ago I was hedging
and ditching in Devon.
I lacked freedom of worship,
and freedom to trade molasses
for rum, for slaves, for molasses.
"I will sail to Massachusetts
to build the Kingdom
of Heaven on Earth!"
The side of a hill
It was Woolworth's!
I followed this vision to Boston.
Steps and Staircases will be hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up for today!
1940 photo courtesy Library of Congress.