Mr. D Shops At Fausto’s Food Palace | Poem by Candace Black

Nothing brings a poem to life more quickly than the sense of smell, and Candace Black, who lives in Minnesota, gets hold of us immediately, in this poem about change, by putting us next to a dumpster.

Nothing brings a poem to life more quickly than the sense of smell, and Candace Black, who lives in Minnesota, gets hold of us immediately, in this poem about change, by putting us next to a dumpster.

 

Mr. D Shops At Fausto’s Food Palace

For years he lived close enough to smell

chicken and bananas rotting

in the trash bins, to surprise a cashier on break

smoking something suspicious when he walked

 

out the back gate. Did they have an account?

He can’t remember. Probably so, for all the milk

a large family went through, the last-minute

ingredients delivered by a smirking bag boy.

 

He liked to go himself, the parking lot’s

radiant heat erased once he got past the sweating

glass door, to troll the icy aisles in his slippers.

This was before high-end labels took over

 

shelf space, before baloney changed

its name to mortadella, before water

came in flavors, before fish

got flown in from somewhere else.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation,publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by Candace Black, from her most recent book of poetry, Casa Marina, RopeWalk Press, 2010. Reprinted by permission of Candace Black and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2012 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

 


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