Less than you bargained for

New bargains every day

in our packed aisles, come on!

Trappist jams, lamps in the form
of buddhas, striped baskets,
ceramic bowls of potpourri
that will never scent a room
after the first five minutes.

All the gifts you buy friends

who thank you profusely

before stowing them in a closet

or taking them to the dump

the next week.  The detritus

of busted capitalism, shops,

businesses gone belly up,

of sweatshops in Guam

making baskets for a nickel.

This is the bizarre bazaar

of knickknacks nobody truly

wants — bargains galore.

Everything you don’t need

at prices you can afford.

© Marge Piercy, 2005

Marge Piercy‘s latest novel is The Third Child. Her sixteenth book of poetry, Colors Passing Through Us, was published by Knopf in the spring. Leapfrog Books has released a CD of her political poems, Louder, I Can’t Hear You Yet, available online at <www.leapfrogpress.com>.