I Think of You in the Produce Isle | Leah Bayley-Hay

what if the grocery store produce
has feelings?
then I’ve probably sent countless
avocados to therapy

picking up one and giving it hope
then putting it back down
for a prettier, riper, avocado –
that avocado’s pit probably split right in half

and don’t get me started on the tomatoes
tomatoes are never good enough
too soggy, too firm, bruised, moldy
tomatoes can never get it right

when I scan the apples
granny smiths are never my first choice
but I’ll settle for them when
the Honeycrisps don’t look fresh

if the grocery store produce
has feelings
then I would feel like a monster
picking and choosing at my heart’s desire –
the avocado I left probably would’ve been great on toast

and the last time I was making my grocery list
my mother called and told me to try bell peppers
I would’ve branched out but

the bell peppers at Giant are always bruised
and I can’t afford Whole Foods

either way, damaged goods
have no place in my kitchen

the peppers had tears falling
over their bruised skin
but I left them at the store and
I feel less bad about my deeds
by not seeing them cry

if the grocery store produce
has feelings
that would make me just like you

giving me hope like an avocado
putting me back because you like avocados
but you don’t love them
perhaps I should join the other avocados I put in therapy

I find myself relating to tomatoes
not reaching the qualifications
that would secure me a spot in your kitchen

and the things I would’ve done to be your Honeycrisp
instead of your bell pepper
your first choice, never a reluctant second


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