A Warrior Rejoices
By: Stephen Pohl
The warriors arrived, one by one, glancing up only to get their bearings.
In the neon lit canyon, characterized by the sweet smells of its daily fare,
hawking counter personnel roar to life, making their case for cuisine “du jour”.
The warriors carefully navigate the cacophonous carnival of fast food items, verifying the tariff,
substantiating the freshness, and pondering the portions. Their victorious victual would soon be revealed.
Children crying, orders being shouted, over-modulated conversational tones,
mindless one-sided cell phone dialogue with the constant rejoinder “can you hear me now?” creates
the battlefield din. A nearby game room contributes to temporary hearing loss attributable to
exuberant gamesters who revel in their award level attainment while characterizing their
invincibility based on their joystick of life approach. Businessmen peck at their PDA’s, readers
are immersed in a world of page-turning novels, teenage youth showcase the latest in sartorial
splendor, while marooned tourists struggle to assess their role at this socially diverse altar of fast food.
If bling could sing, the food court would be a symphony.
A mother struggles to placate toddler pleadings for sweets as the social milieu wanders aimlessly,
drawn to savory specials, exhorted by sampling, and sequestered by a sense of impending gustatory
satisfaction. The sensations make the decision seem difficult. The daily trek to
humanity’s ubiquitous feast at the food court takes a back seat to logic and etiquette.
A mosaic of mankind are taking their seats in shifts, pausing only to deposit their wages
in exchange for their sustenance. Uneven flooring and ensuing furniture wobble reminds the
warrior of unsteady lessons associated with life. The fabric of life operates here.
The warrior is emboldened by its energy.
Life’s warrior is armed with all manner of sanitized weaponry, supplementing
the experience with ritualistic soda straw excoriation, multiple perforated condiment sub
routines, and diminutive napkin negotiations. It would all be over within a brief interval.
The mall madness creates a backdrop of unexplained excitement.
A retailing destination invigorates the transient warrior. A strategy is conjured over the simple
exchange of clicking plastic ware, aided and abetted by nearby conversations of shopping
dreams — yet unfulfilled. The nagging knowledge of gifts, yet to be bought, and necessities
placed on sale racks, elevates the warrior to an ambitious level of exploration. Fortified
by a nourishing meal, the warrior takes comfort in the efficiency of the food court that
has reserved the remaining lunch hour for retail procurement.
The warrior rejoices.
Stephen Pohl is a managing broker at NAI Black and is our retail guru. During the time this poem was written Stephen was a leasing agent for several malls in the Houston, TX area before moving to Spokane. He wrote this while enjoying lunch in the food court of one of the malls he worked in.
(Copyright: nachai / 123RF Stock Photo)