A Warrior Rejoices

By: Stephen Pohl

Circa 2006

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)