This Day

after Randall Jarrell

Moving from Certainty to Serenity, from Serenity
to Depends, I take a box of panty liners

and add it to my Greek yogurt, my blueberries,
my narrow, seedless cucumber, safely wrapped.

The front wheel of my cart waggles and drags.
I don’t miss the girl I imagined I was, I miss

the girl I actually was and didn’t know. Before
I reach the register I am frantic with heat,

so I gaze at a wall of toothpastes without blinking:
polishing, whitening, enamel-repair. I miss

fewer choices: one wrinkled tube
of Crest in the medicine cabinet. I stand

and wait it out, my hands lightly
against the cool of my shopping cart,

until I can move down the aisle, past Total,
past Life, past all the Lucky Charms.

Ann Hudson is the author of The Armillary Sphere (Ohio University Press) and Glow (Next Page Press), a chapbook on radium. Her poems appear in Cider Press Review, Orion, Crab Orchard Review, Colorado Review, North American Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, SWWIM, and elsewhere. She is a senior editor for RHINO Poetry.