Lord Forgive Me In The Wal-Mart Parking Lot


There was a girl, balled in thought
Screaming at her smart phone
In bottom of the Wal-Mart parking lot
She was walking, talking
Lost to the world
Lost to any of this
Warm winter breeze on her fingers

Parked my truck so we could watch
Cause who knows the active
Shooter, the entertainment,
The suffering parade

Danger is to keep an eye on
And here was danger
Maybe she’d walk up
Or pass by
But she didn’t
She sat down on a curb next a semi

And when I came back
A diaper was being changed on my seat
So I stood outside waiting, looking
Wanting to go to the girl and ask softly
“What’s your problem?”

There was a time you could say
“What’s your problem?” or you knew
What the problem was without asking
That time, bent by electricity is
As foreign as Marco Polo
That time is something to be stared at

So I sail my ship
Through the Wal-Mart parking lot
Marveling at the world lost
Ready to hold poor prisoners
But for the bars that separate us
I can only say it is my own fault
And Lord forgive me for I know what I do

My problem, your problem
Shiny oil rainbow puddles
On hard Wal-Mart pavement
And we’re only in and out
Barely time to change a diaper
On the front seat of a 1998 Mazda B3000

As we drive out and go
West on State Highway 46
She’s sitting on the curb
In the shadow shelter of the big rig
Looking at her phone screen still


Art by James Ensor


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