Shopping

By Pamela Haines

I like to shop at times
finding treasures at a thrift store
mingling with neighbors at a farmers’ market
fingering crafts from worlds away
But mostly I don’t.

In my mouth it has the taste of failure
failure of imagination
that I cannot come up with something
to meet the need myself
failure of skill
that I could not keep the old one working
failure of strength
that I cannot be content with what I have
failure of integrity
knowing I already have more than my share. 

When the world is turned upside down
all the advertising and excess shaken out
when we deal in real needs and real wealth
value all who do the work on this green earth
maybe then this bitter taste
will wash from my mouth
and I will be happy
to shop.

Pamela Haines is a member of the Friends Economic Integrity Project and the Eco-Justice Collaborative of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.