Saturday Poem: 'Mall-Fever'

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(inspired by John Masefield's "Sea-Fever")


I must go down to the mall again,
to the glass walls and the shops,
and all I ask is a fat purse
and a bright array of tops,
and three pretzels and two coffees
and my fingers shaking,
and a discount on spring fashions
and musak awaking.

I must go down to the mall again,
for the call of the latest ad
is a loud call and a sure call
that won't be just a fad;
and all I ask is a happy day
of glorious buying,
with credit cards and plastic bags,
and no children crying.

I must go down to the mall again,
to the perfect way of life,
to the lipstick and nail varnish
that will make me a better wife;
and all I ask is a kindly smile
from the woman selling makeup,
and mercy and forgiveness
when the bank phones up.


Mary Soon Lee, born in London, lives in Squirrel Hill. The poem was first published in Atlanta Review and her poetry has also appeared in American Scholar, Cider Press Review and Rosebud.


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