Once in a Lifetime Sale

The Supermarket’s sign announced
‘Once in a Lifetime Sale.’
‘Doors open 6am until
they shut tonight at eight.’

Anger went, 5 cents a pound
until anger sold out.
Fear on sale, aisle 17
neatly wrapped, new, nice and clean.

Shelf underneath has packs of shame,
nine for the price of six,
the same for sticks of hatred,
sadness and regrets.

Rage deep in the freezer box
together with aggression,
horror diced in bags of four,
buy six and suffering is free.

Paranoia, worry, terror,
just a coin per pound.
At half price is hostility
1/3 off panic, guilt and grief.

‘Excuse me, but where could I find,’
a young man asks, ‘some empathy,
forgiveness and compassion?’
The staff swallows surprise and chews regret.

Pride sliced in strips, sold by the foot,
just as doubt, envy and humiliation,
last chance to stock your shelves at home,
apathy, pain and agitation.

Old lady wants to barter all her suffering of late
for calmness and some happiness
and trade her sorrow for some joy
instead annoyance filled the shelves.

A man in uniform came in to look for courage, confidence
and righteous indignation,
but found surprise, ambivalence,
his trolley loaded to the brim with boxes of disappointments.

Mum with three kids searching the aisles
for privacy, security.
‘Is this for me?’ her eldest asks,
‘Oh no, this is for me,’ said she.

‘I’ll get you caution and surprise,’
and for the youngest one she picked
some gratitude and pleasure.
But calmness is for number two, before he kicks his brother.

The information desk responds
to answer questions, offer help.
Two items most did ask to find
but none could find it in the shelves.

‘Where then is love and where is hope?’
‘They sell that further down the road,
as we no longer stock these items.
The refunds send us almost broke.’

‘But why do you sell most of this so cheap?’
one buyer asks the manageress.
‘It is a Sale, that’s what Sales do,
we guarantee the lowest price to you.’

‘But who would want to pay a coin,
for three bags of depression?’
‘You’d be surprised, Sir, many do,
as you can see we’re almost out.’

‘The shelves of cowardice and greed
are empty, see them bare, as well as
hatred, cruelty and fear, there must have been a need
and all the stress is gone as well.’

‘Your pricing is to blame,’ said he.
‘Unhappiness is 4 cents for a box of nine,
while 60 coins will buy the opposite, per box of three.’
‘I see,’ said she, ‘demand, availability dictate the price.’
“You sell no hope but sell despair
that is not fair,’ said he.
‘You’ll find frustration in the last aisle, Sir,’
He said, ‘It seems I get enough for free.’

‘Perhaps you need anxiety and we will add some apathy
a dozen sticks euphoria and a little bit of ecstasy,
all in all just 5 cents for the lot,
a bargain basement price, would you agree or not?’

‘Even if you paid me for the goods
I don’t thing I’ll be tempted.’
‘But Sir, we have a gift wrap service,
what you can’t use, give to your friends.’

He laughed and searched the exit of the store.
‘For less get more, we buy in bulk
and we have stores around the world,’
she called, as he walks through the door.

© Heinz Ross

Once in a Lifetime Sale


Joined August 2008

  • Artist

Artist's Description

From my book ‘Between Eternities’, as download or paperback.
See “My Books” link in profile.

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