Big parking lots make me feel so lonely.
So far from the street, so far from the sidewalk,
so far from the bus stop.
Tethered to nothing but the errand,
I walk to my destination,
certain of the possibility of being apprehended
for breaking an unknown law.
Quaint 1950s America wouldn’t make me
walk the expanse of a football field
to buy milk, bread and razors.
I remember the walks
from my grandmother’s house
to the Safeway.
Armed with my grandmother’s
shakily written list, with prices in the margin,
I soldiered down the street
and through a lot
behind a bar
called the Pyle In.
On one trip,
I walked half a block before I encountered
a man lying on the sidewalk in my path.
“Are you ok,” I asked.
Rubbing his eyes, he said, “What’s ok?”
We both knew here was nothing else to say.
I continued to the store,
saying nothing to my grandmother
when I returned.
To this day, I can think of a dozen responses
in answer to a child’s “Are you ok?”
But, the parking lots are so big,
why would there ever be a need?