Scene at a Department Store

by Dave Malone

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen.
                        —Thomas Gray

You dashed,
no faster,
you sprinted like a track star
no, faster,
you sonic-sped

after bogarting
a third of a clothing rack.
folding the goods
into a neat stack
as if rolling a perfect joint
or finishing laundry,
and tucked
the Marie Kondo
bundle under an arm pit
and you

no faster,
no faster,
out of the department store
double doors.
as the floor buckled
and unbuckled behind you
from the heat and exhaust
while not one clerk
dare notice.

Dave Malone is a poet and filmmaker from the Missouri Ozarks. His newest volume, Tornado Drill, has been published by Aldrich Press in April. He can be found online at