From His Point of View

shopping cart, grocery cartI watch them come in and out,

Mouths tight, brows furrowed.

Why? They drive in with their fancy

Cars, thick coats, scarves wrapped round

Their necks like a wreath.

Me? I’m their parking lot decoration.

I move their leftover carts, pick up their trash,

Trudge through the ice and rain and snow

And nod toward their blank faces.

I’m not here. parking lot attendant, grocery store

Yet I am. I am! I peer up at the sky

Flakes fall on my nose and I laugh

Which makes them look at me finally

As if I’m crazy and they’re fearful

Of me. Hah. They’re the strange ones.

snowflakes, grocery shopping, shopping attendant

I smile at a woman and surprise, she

Smiles back and we exchange a glance of

Understanding. Her smile widens as she looks up,

Pokes out her tongue and tastes the snow, as

Sweet as sugar, her expression, and I realize.

She sees me.

125 thoughts on “From His Point of View

    • Those little actions – a smile, a “how’re you doing?”, a brief conversation about the weather – these things make a difference – in everyone’s lives! You’re a blessing, Jill.

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  1. This is lovely and sensitive. I always say hi or thank you to the attendants when I see them in the parking lot. Like Jill’s Walmart, my local ShopRite hires mentally challenged people to work in all sorts of positions–some of them have worked there for many years.

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  2. To be seen, it can mean so much, make such a difference. This makes me want to pay more attention to the people around me when I’m out shopping, instead of focusing all my attention on the task at hand. So many moments I must have missed…

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    • And I need to realize that some people I see hurrying along without acknowledging others are not being mean, they’re just (too) bogged down in their own “stuff.” May we release our “stuff” and open up to all those around us. Many thanks for your comment, Barbara.

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  3. Touching and beautiful, Pam. Grocery store employees who corral the carts perform a service we all appreciate, and it’s easy to forget their work and their often-uncomfortable working conditions. As I read this, I was thinking about people with all kinds of jobs that are easily overlooked. I’m grateful for your reminder to thank them for the work they do.

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    • “Test drive” a cart. Smile. Yes, and I also bring my own cart back to the store after I’ve used it. I’m surprised at how many just leave a used cart in the middle of the lot. Boo. Hiss. Generosity and thoughtfulness go a long way. ❤

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    • Yes, you’re right, it’s a divide. Some are so clueless about those around them. It’s sad – not only to those they’re “shunning,” but to themselves. Here’s to opening our eyes – and hearts – to all around us. xo

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    • Actually, well said on YOUR part. You’re right, some just look THROUGH others, as if they don’t exist (or as if they don’t matter). No matter our color/sex/ethnicity/job/ — we all matter equally, of course. ❤

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  4. Our Publix hires mentally challenged people to bag groceries. They are careful to please and always wear a smile, often gleefully. Poignant post . . .

    Thanks for showcasing the unsung heroes in our ordinary days. Have a great weekend, Pam!

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  5. Very poetic. Love it. Found myself reading it twice to absorb all the nuances. This part had me thinking more when I read it the first time (Mouths tight, brows furrowed. Why? They drive in with their fancy cars). People who have all the comforts of a reasonably wealthy life do have troubles just as others do. And then the part about not being seen – just an employee…. Well done, Pam.

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    • Thank you so much, Anneli. I think those who have all these comforts kind of “lose themselves” in their own little world, and forget about all those who don’t have the same comforts, and yet go around their job sweetly and with smiles. Perhaps our “troubles” wouldn’t seem so huge if we stopped and looked around.

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  6. Love this sensivity Pam. Often we take people for granted, don’t even give a glance to those around us but once in a while when we look, words gush out. Your poem reminds me of one of mine that I had penned years ago, inspired from an old woman: here’s the link:

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  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 6th March 2020 – #Booktranslations Miriam Hurdle, #Poem Pamela Wight, #BookRecommendations Jacqui Murray | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

    • So true, And as a matter of fact, when I get out of my introverted shyness and strike up a conversation with a store employee who looks hassled and frazzled, it’s amazing how much their surprised smile makes me feel joyful.

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  8. Pam, I found the change of colour and thickness of the font an intriguing part of the story. I do think about what you are saying (my interpretation.) Such as how it is tempting to not look at a homeless person in the eyes. Yet, they are here, this moment in time, crossing paths with us, another human being. I realize how you are likely writing about, noticing, ‘seeing’ the person working in the parking lot. You also remind me of the word namaste, ‘the divine in me respectfully recognizes the divine in you.’ Or as Ally says, seeing people versus seeing through people. Beautiful words! A great reminder!

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    • Ah, you noticed my change of color in this poem, Erica. I didn’t want to use extra space to show the end and beginning of each stanza, so I used different color instead. Seems to work well in blogging. 🙂 Thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, sometimes we think we’re supposed to avert our eyes from those handicapped or poor or performing menial jobs, but instead, I think we should do the opposite. Not STARE, but SMILE and offer a friendly greeting.

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  9. Separate topic, Pam, Wondering best way to PM you, although not really personal. 🙂 I have tried to order “Molly Finds Her Purr” Amazon.ca the last couple of months and site said ‘out of stock.’ I checked again this morning and now available with 1-3 month shipping. I ordered anyways, since I was ordering a few books. I will let you know if and when arrive. I have a few children on my upcoming gift list and I know they would like this book. Birthdays not for a few months. Just giving you .ca feedback. Have a great weekend!

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    • I just checked Amazon.ca again, Erica. SO frustrating that it’s 1-3 months shipping. The US Amazon has the books available immediately. Plus, the US Amazon shows 13 reviews (all 5 stars – yay) but the Amazon.ca only shows 6 reviews. Unfortunately, the publisher has no control over how/what Amazon does once the books are on there. Sorry! Let me know when it arrives!

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  10. I relate! Walking in my new Davis on the greenbelt I smile and bid hello and people stop to chat, but mostly to say howdy to my Westie. After nine months two friends have evolved there. Both have invited me to attend Mondavi Center events which I’ve done. Amazing what a smile and recognition can do.

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    • I’m so happy to hear this, Jeanette. Moving to a new location is difficult, and making new friends tantamount to the success of a move. Your smile is so gracious that I’m sure you’ve made many people’s day who cross your way. ❤

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  11. I’m so grateful they are there, otherwise, when we go into a store and there are no carts inside, we would all be trudging out into the weather looking for them. We should all smile and wish them a wonderful day! A wonderful post, Pam!

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  12. Very appropriate and thoughtful piece, Pam. Especially in winter, everyone deserves some extra warmth – literally and figuratively. I’m always aware of people around me and what they do or mean for the world or society (or I mumble something like “I could never do that”) but, on the other hand, I never acknowledge that feeling to the people involved, give them recognition, or even smile. We should all be nicer! Thank you for pointing that out. 🙂

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    • You bring up several good points here, Liesbet. First, YES, in cold yucky weather those who have to work in outside conditions need extra warmth – clothing AND smiles. Also, should we say to someone “I could never do that?” I certainly think it, but I suppose they have no option if desperate for a job and to pay the bills. I think of this every time I’m traveling and use a highway restroom and see a woman cleaning the bathroom stalls. A horrible un-thanked job that is important and yet no one wants to do it. I wish they had tip jars in those restroom. ;-0

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  13. Pam, a reminder to us all to notice those around us … share in the gift of life, it’s joys! 😀 At the supermarket, I feel the trolley staff are critical – it’s cumbersome moving just one trolley I’m in awe of their 20+ ‘driving’ skills.😀 If they are uncleared for even an hour the car park is blocked by a snake of trolleys! Here’s to seeing everyone around us, taking no one for granted! hugs xx ❤️

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    • As always, you bring a smile to my face, Annika. Yes, exactly – sometimes those snaky lines of “trolleys” as you call them, carts in our American vernacular, are quite impressive. If one of those trolley snakes got out of control — yikes, it would be mayhem. 🙂

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  14. Liked this post.

    Did anyone else feel that it could also be about coronavirus? Or is it just me? I really think almost whole of the poem can be applied to covid19…..the world from its point of view. Then this actually gets scary 😥

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  15. LOVED this, Pam!! People are people are people! I won’t cater to social standing so in other words I treat all those who come across my path equally. You wrote this so beautifully! I think a lot of us can relate to what your words said ….. Who really SEES anyone these days? How sad how disconnected we’ve become. Hopefully some day soon the domino effect of one person seeing another happens and then play it forward. (smile)

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  16. Oh to be seen! When we truly see someone, we have given them the most precious gift. Not sure why my previous post says Anonymous, so I’ll try again.

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