Oscar Kenshur


Notes from a Not Quite Supermarché

The clerk rings up my yogurt and pâté
Just as he might back in the USA,
But this is France, and when sorbet won’t scan
He doesn’t ask if I, or someone, can
Assist in tracking down the item’s price—
Which I could have accomplished in a trice.

Instead, with an expression of dismay,
He asks me, “Do you really need sorbet?”
Of course, there’s precious little I can say,
Other than “Well no, not absolutely.”
To which I add “Adieu, sorbet” (though mutely).

Oscar Kenshur was born and raised in Chicago. Except for periodic interludes abroad—including the current academic year in Provence—he has spent the last several decades in Bloomington, Indiana, teaching comparative literature and publishing books and articles on literary, historical and philosophical topics. More recently, he has been putting together a collection of personal essays and has tried his hand at light verse. His first published poem appeared in Lighten Up Online.