The haggard, hollow-eyed shoppers,
a chilly mass of harried folks
emerging from the warm cocoon
of home and hearth on the Thanksgiving holiday
shouldered and jostled and elbowed
and hip-checked and slammed
their way into violent, unrepentant savings.
They butted into, battered and bruised
their fellow man, all for 30% off some slacks,
the latest gadget, an overhyped Instant Pot,
laptops, tablets, coffee pods, or a flatscreen TV.
They lined up outside the big-box store
at the yawning break of dawn.
They barged in headfirst, trampled ahead
undeterred, and grabbed, grabbed, grabbed.
Joseph S. Pete is an award-winning journalist, an Iraq War veteran, an Indiana University graduate, a book reviewer, a photographer, the editor in chief of the Northwest Indiana Literary Journal and a frequent guest on Lakeshore Public Radio. He is a 2017 Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee who has had a play staged at the Detroit Heritage Theatre Festival, who has showcased his photography at the Oddtropolis Art Show in San Fransisco, who has read his work for the Fictitious series on the iO Theater stage and who was named the poet laureate of Chicago BaconFest, a feat that Geoffrey Chaucer chump never accomplished. His literary or photographic work has appeared or is forthcoming in more than 100 journals, including Poetry Potion, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Chicago Literati, The Vignette Review, Voicemail Poems, Dogzplot, Proximity Magazine, Stoneboat, The High Window, Synesthesia Literary Journal, Steep Street Journal, Beautiful Losers, New Pop Lit, The Grief Diaries, Gravel, The Offbeat, Oddball Magazine, The Perch Magazine, The First Line, Bull Men’s Fiction, Rising Phoenix Review, Thoughtful Dog, shufPoetry, The Roaring Muse, Prairie Winds, Blue Collar Review, The Rat’s Ass Review, Euphemism, Jenny Magazine, Vending Machine Press and elsewhere. He should have gone to bio writing school to learn how to write a better bio.