Byerly’s — Fine Foods — 24 Hours

Edina, Minnesota


The aisles were carpeted in oyster-gray, with deep
blue edging, and they sold a damn good wild-rice soup.
One service that they offered free of charge: they’d snap
your headshot, print it on a card for you to keep
inside your pocket. Then, each time you came and whipped
it out, they’d gift you with a cookie (chocolate chip).
I’d wheedle Mom to take me there on midday trips,
feast on the face-sized gooey sweetness while she shopped.

Like Easter eggs—each tidy gray-blue aisle was blipped
with little plastic boxes stocked with recipes, ripe
for plucking. First, leave the only home you know and grope
across the ocean in a holey hull. Wash up
someplace it’s winter half the year, but where there’s banks,
fine stores, good schools. Then wait, wait, for your children’s thanks.