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(With groveling apologies to George Herbert)

Yesterday I was shuffling through a store
And choosing several things I didn’t need:
Lipstick, conditioner, a candy bar,
A gel pen, Tupperware, ceramic beads—

But at the orange cheese popcorn I was sighing
About professed ideals and tedious jobs.
Was this the best my long hours could be buying?
I peered at several carts of other slobs—

Then heard a laugh, and turned, and Love was there:
“How could I mind you buying some cheap thing
Out of your costly work—how would I dare?
I bought you out of all My suffering,

“In spite of what it said about My taste,
And the endlessly more worthwhile things to do—
And no, I’ve never thought it was a waste:
I’m Love, you idiot, and though you’re you,

“I hold you in extravagant compassion.
No yard sale browser ever gave less thought
To use or charm or storage space or fashion—
And yet I never part with what I’ve bought.

Copyright 2017 Sarah Ruden