Ian Spencer Bell

So many people in line to check out 
the stuff to celebrate the fall,
spooktacular scarecrows affixed 
to aisles aflame with leaves
and everything by the exit—bolts,
end cones, foxtails, gemstones,
Kevlar, linseed, Mod Podge,
nippers, opals, quilting,
rattail, squeegees, tallow,
whitehearts, sister hooks too.
And all I wanted was in the back.
This waiting is endless.

A woman, humpbacked, strands of black-
and-white hair pulled into a pony,
searches for the button for buttons.
Behind her a sign,
Must Haves are for sale. Everything
is for sale. A blue-eyed boy
knocks his head against my hip,
reaches for the Styrofoam form
I hold in my hand. A halo or a hat,
I say and put it on his head,
watch it fall around his neck.
I’m sorry, the mother says.

At the register a girl appears,
flashing tarnished choppers.
I can take whoever’s next, she says
and, My windows are always down
when it’s raining, and it’s raining
now—don’t you see?
The line turns to see gray pouring
over the lot onto my mother’s blue
Escape. My whole life I’ve wanted to
be honest. So when the girl asks
what I’m making, I say a funeral wreath,
and look down at the black
French silk, grosgrain, and pearl-head pins. 
I’m sorry, she says.

On the way home I see a buzzard
in a ditch, wings outstretched. I pass
the Stribblings, the Grahams, the Athertons.
Their lawns are cut. Their barns are painted.
Buzzards don’t eat the things we make.