Friday, April 21, 2017

NPM 2017 Day Twenty-One: At the Galleria Shopping Mall

For National Poetry Month this year I am sharing poetry that celebrates my late sister-in-law and what it means to be human. These daily posts focus on traits that Pam exuded—empathy, kindness, caring, friendship, gentleness and love.

I once made the mistake of going clothes shopping with Pam. I tried on more clothes in that one trip than ever before or since. She had to twist my arm to get me to agree to put things on, and even once they were on I was reluctant to step out of the dressing room so she could see them. I really hate shopping, but Pam was an enthusiastic supporter, and tried desperately to enliven my wardrobe.

At the Galleria Shopping Mall 
by Tony Hoagland

Just past the bin of pastel baby socks and underwear,
there are some 49-dollar Chinese-made TVs;

one of them singing news about a far-off war,
one comparing the breast size of an actress from Hollywood

to the breast size of an actress from Bollywood.
And here is my niece Lucinda,

who is nine and a true daughter of Texas,
who has developed the flounce of a pedigreed blonde

and declares that her favorite sport is shopping.
Today is the day she embarks upon her journey,

Read the poem in its entirety.

I'll leave you today with this parting shot.
For some, shopping is an art; for others, it's a sport. It can be a vice and it can be a cause. Some love it. Some hate it. Rarely is someone indifferent. ― Pamela Klaffke
Thank you for reading. I hope to see you here again tomorrow.


  1. OOF. Good LORD, what a poem.
    I hate shopping SO, so much, and I only "enjoy" it when it's consignment or thrift, because I can buy something cheerily garish and say it's because I'm saving the world, or honoring the labor of some sweatshop worker. In truth, I love that sort of shopping best, because no one expects you to be stylish in "old" clothes.

    I have friends like Pam. And I love them... anyway.
    But avoid going anywhere near stores with them. I haven't shopped with "the girls" since high school or college, and feel my life is so much better for it...! It is lonely, for me. Weird.

    1. Yup, you are my soul sister. I despise shopping. I do like to go antiquing, but that's entirely different. Even my second hand clothes are bought online these days! (The curse of the introvert, I suppose.)

  2. I love to shop from my armchair using google like a scythe, slicing down tasks and storing up time for more important things. Great poem, sweet sister-in-law. You gotta love people who give of themselves and try to share because they care, even if they are a tad misguided about what really makes a person tick. Shopping doesn't make my engine purr. It makes my clock stop, and minutes turn into days.