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Saturday, 13 October 2012

Out of my depth

They’re trained to look for signs:
like me, jittery in the fish aisle
with wild staring eyes.
Rising panic – credit card or cash?
loyalty card and coupons.
Help I am out of my depth!

What I really need is
a hand firmly under my chin
to drag me out of the waves of
mothers with small children
before I fall under the wheels
of pushchair and trolley.
Help, help – I am out of my depth!

Home brand, buy local, food miles
fair-trade, organic, gluten-free
special offer, buy one get one free.
Help – I am out of my depth!

This stupid trolley
with its wonky wheel
is pulling me under, I’m
weak and goosefleshed as
battery chicken in the chiller cabinet,
lost as a lone tahini abandoned near the jam
Other shoppers basking in
the warm glow of the bread aisle.
unaware that danger lurks.
Help – I am out of my depth!

The cry goes up
– a few strong strokes
and the supermarket
lifeguard is by my side,
dragging me to the shallows of ten items of less.
People stop to gawp
and as I thrash wildly
amongst the salty snacks
it sounds a bit like applause.

© Clare Kirwan

Shoppers baffled by promotions overload


  1. Oh well done Clare!

    I don't have this problem as my supermarket very kindly list the unit price below the product...but that said the problem of a 'bargain' to good to miss often leads to purchases that will spend their life (up until their use-by-date) at the back of a cupboard until they are thrown out...as I really don't like what I bought...

    (I food shop early morning as I hate the ill-mannnered throngs that infest supermarkets later in the day.)

    Anna :o]

    1. I am obsessed with bargains and every visit is like my maths O'level

  2. That was fun. And an interesting article.
    So much noise -- I avoid it with a narrow path through the grocery store.
    But may ask who saved you at the end? I got a little lost in the last stanza.
    Thank you

    1. I had originally titled this 'Supermarket Lifeguard' but that seemed a bit daft so I changed the title... Thanks for pointing out I'd left him out completely - I just cheated and added him back in! It was all a bit dashed-off I'm afraid.

    2. LOL !
      Wow, finally, a poetry blog where it is OK to ask the obvious question!
      Nice fix -- it all makes far more sense not.
      Nicely done for "a bit dashed-off"!

  3. I should say this is 'brill' but I may be way off 'bream'.