The Bargain Apocalypse

From Hayes Davis’s poem “The Bargain Apocalypse” (NER 27.4):

Caldor is going out of business,
prices have been slashed in half
and I believe this is what it will
be like when the world ends.

Children shuffle across the dirty floor,
pointing at undersized baseball gloves
or one-armed dolls, begging parents
who answer with a distracted,
automatic “No.” The security guard
is amused. He isn’t needed; nothing
here is worth the risk of a criminal record.

Some have found an answer or two,
and they wait in lines longer
than purgatory, gripping cash
or a Visa. All sales are final.

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