MARTIN SLOANE | Supermarket Shopper Poems garner competition honors

It is my great pleasure to present to my readers the winners of the 22nd Annual Supermarket Shopper Poetry Competition. It was a wonderful competition and my readers expressed their feelings in exceptional poetry. The winner of the competition's Third Prize was "Mom and Me at the P & amp;C" written by Eleanor Thomas of Oneida, N.Y.:
Every Saturday at just about one,
Whether snow, rain or sun,
I pick up my mother for our usual date.
We're off to buy groceries -- a job that I hate!
But not my sweet mother, Irene is her name.
And believe me, dear readers, shopping is her game.
Eighty-seven years young, she misses no trick.
Selecting fresh produce gives her a kick.
Her shopping cart weekly just seems to abound
With peppers and potatoes at 99 cents a pound.
Not one cent more, or she'll wait till next week.
On an income that's fixed, it's bargains she seeks.
And bargains she finds like a well-trained hound.
She makes the best meatballs from the large-pack ground round.
Pasta on sale? It must be -- she bought it.
Four pounds for a dollar, who would have thought it?
Up and down the aisles, she stops to peruse
Ever so slowly which brand she should choose.
While I, on the other hand, in my shopping haze
Seem always lost in the grocery maze.
While she is checking labels for contents and weight,
I check my watch -- is it really this late?
But there's no rushing her and added to her glee,
This week the ice cream is "buy one, get one free!"
So, to my mother, Irene, I give a salute.
She got what she came for and sometimes much more.
She helps keep in business that big grocery store.
Eleanor's mom loves her grocery store, and so does Lois Oblak of Belle Vernon, Pa. Her poem, "A Sparking Tribute," is the second-prize winner in our competition.
When you are almost twice forty, and youth is long past,
You wish for the old days, but know they couldn't last.
Simplicity is gone, complexity took its place.
To survive in this world you try to keep pace.
But where does one go when the cupboard is bare?
The challenge of shopping is almost a dare.
I am happy to say I struggle no more.
I just pay a visit to the Sparkle store.
My store is not huge, like so many a mart.
But my store is big in what counts -- its heart.
I walk in the door and I feel right at ease;
I know where to find the bread and the cheese.
"We missed you this morning," or "You're late today."
It makes me feel welcome to be noticed this way.
In produce are the apples and carrots I'll buy.
They're made all the better with a smile and a "Hi."
There are patties of lamb, to us a real treat.
The butcher remembered it's our favorite meat.
That jar on the top shelf is almost too high.
Lucky for me there's a helper nearby.
"We have those new cookies. Do you see them there?"
How nice to shop where the people do care.
They are like one big family, these fine people I see.
And when I am shopping they even count me.
So, I'm not getting younger and there may be some strife,
But my shopping is pleasant. There's a Sparkle in my life.
XSend questions and comments to Martin Sloane in care of this newspaper. The volume of mail precludes individual replies to every letter, but Martin Sloane will respond to letters of general interest in the column. Check out Martin Sloane's Web site at
United Feature Syndicate

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