Thrift Store Journal


Got a call

from a lady who’d bought

a journal of mine I’d mistakenly donated

to the thrift store,

and wanted to know if I had

more to sell.

I asked how much she’d paid:

“A buck-ninety.”


Then she read me the last page

where I’d described

Der Weinerschnitzel’s

orange roof

catching sunset light

against the blue-black sky

of a mountain storm.

I’d finished with

“God’s work is a wonder

and we must always be

looking for it.”

Wordy and trite, I thought.


She told me to come to her house

to retrieve the journal

which I did

then paid her two bucks

and she didn’t offer the dime change.


Driving home I wondered

how I’d presumed

to know anything about

God’s work.


Published by


I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

7 thoughts on “Thrift Store Journal”

  1. Nice narrative, reminds me of Raymond Carver’s poems (some of my favorite poetry nowadays). I used to shop frequently at thrift stores, though more for clothes and musical equipment, not for books so much. But the idea of finding someone’s journal at a thrift store seems a distinct possibility, funny and sad as thrift stores often are. The image of “Der Weinerschnitzel’s / orange roof / catching sunset light” inspiring some contemplation of “God’s work” is a great kind of filmic, American, suburban potentiality. And I love how the woman withheld the dime change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for reading the poem and your comments. your point about the poem’s funny/sad elements is insightful. the narrator, in fact, may be an american gulliver who sees something redemptive about a der wienerschnitzel.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely and humorous — to have to buy back one’s own journal! 😉 I do think, if you’ll forgive me, that we are all born knowing God’s work — whether by that name or another (I prefer Nature) — and we begin a long forgetting. We must constantly look and search for those wonders to remind ourselves of our absolute interdependence. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s