“Quaker Meeting: Cambridge/Rangeley, Maine” from Gathered


Quaker Meeting: Cambridge/Rangeley, Maine

There you are, purchasing
the Sunday paper. Ibuprofen.
Ajax. Pampers. Peanut butter.
Margarine. Clorox. There
you are, baby squalling, holy
voices in the IGA,
in Sarah’s kitchen tasting oatmeal-
raisin bread, yearning
for pies and chocolate frosting. You
will not forget the Wednesday corn
line. You must choose: How
many? and are the kernels
small and sweet?

“Almost died,” he
said, “fever of 106, down to
the hospital.” “Going to rain, trees
need the water, I guess.” “Thanks be
to God, my son got out, the night my store
burned down.” “Geologist dug up this
here rock, said it was from the time
of the Grand Canyon. Used to be this land
was all under water, back then.”
“Learned me the Internet at
the library—looked up my condition
on the Medline, they call it. Ain’t
no reason, just old age, they say, doctors
don’t know, but I’d have gone blind, it said,
if they hadn’t of given me the Cortisone
in time.” “I’ll think on it awhile, let
you know if I can fix it for you.” “The locksmith
out Rt. 4, he was a Baptist preacher,
died last June, you know. The schoolbus driver
he’s out 16 across from where the diner was,
the widow sold him all the molds. Lock
stock and barrel, you could say.” “Those wasps
you got, just spray ‘em with Raid and run
like hell.”

-Marian Kaplan Shapiro

You can purchase a copy of Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets, edited by Nick McRae, from the Sundress store for only $16!


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