The Twelve Lightbulbs Of Janet Frame

I saw her in the supermarket
Driving a runaway trolley
That dodged and charged imaginary opponents

I wonder if she was writing
Paused in the frozen foods
Between the chicken legs and the harassed mothers

People want to know
- What was she buying
Microwave lasagna,
Toilet paper,
Mouldy French cheese,
Canned spaghetti and sausages,
Sugary cereal,
Green tomatoes?

A dozen lightbulbs
Was all she had
Maybe they were on sale
Super coupon special
Maybe she only buys them once a year
Or maybe they all just blew at once
Like mine do

Paula Harris

Published in Takahe 37
August 1999