Guest Poet Joy Helen LaRue


I did something today
I haven't done in a long, long time.
I listened to myself and
tried to forget about you.
I went to the grocery store
and tried to pass myself off
as a real, functioning human being.
I flirted with the bag boy. 
I thumped watermelons.
I studied lettuce,
not quite sure what I was 
supposed to be looking for, exactly.
I gawked at the high price 
of soda and cookies. 
I gazed at all the ice cream, then
decided I did not need it.
I walked away with my paper towels,
lettuce, juice, and cream cheese, and
for once, felt what I guess it is to be
a normal person not looking
over my shoulder, or jumping at 
every single noise.  
I was nice knowing that today,
if for some reason I died, it wouldn't be 
because of you.

December, 2000

Joy Helen LaRue's Questions:

1. How did you feel when you read this poem?

2. Did you feel enough detail was captured?

3. What do you think inspired this piece?

The Albany Poetry Workshop