It is a mayhem of camp stoves and camouflage,
A rabbit warren of knives and pistols,
Pellet guns and potato seeds, Glocks and portable generators,
Any number and variety of hunker-downables of various shapes and usefulness
Purveyed for those who would purchase them in anticipation of some damn thing.
The establishment is open seemingly at random (the sign on the door reads
STORE HOURS—We get there when we do), its presence
Both unannounced and unadvertised, its very existence
Debatable to those who feel no need to avail themselves of its wares,
But no matter the hour, the store is nearly chock-full,
Men and women staring straight ahead and mumbling softly to themselves
As they bump and browse among the GPS devices, rope, and canteens.
There is a small section of canned foods, and one customer notes
How the beets, beans, and spinach are all very near their expiration date;
The proprietor looks up from his cash register (huge, drab-olive and ancient,
More at home in an antique store than in actual use), and all but sighs
Well, they’re perfectly good for some time after…I mean, after all…
Look, it’s not likely to be an issue. You want them or not?
The shopkeeper rings out the purchase in a cacophony of clicks and bells
(He is a man so unprepossessing as to almost have no appearance at all,
And few of his clients can agree as to any of his physical characteristics.)
Some time later, another shopper asks if there is a return policy
For those purchases which may prove untimely or unnecessary.
Oh yes, he chuckles, full price return for up to thirty days
Although, he says as he wipes his eyes, you might want
To make that sooner as opposed to later,
And he laughs with a full throated roar
Infused with a mirth that is so pure, so unrestrained
As to be downright unsettling.
(Slapped together for the Wednesday challenge at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, in which the lovely and talented Isadora Gruye, in the best Eric Idle tradition, asks us to look on the bright side of the Apocalypse, be it zombie or otherwise.)