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  • Baillie Puckett

Poetry: Maybe I Can Cure My Depression in the Clearance Aisle

By Baillie Puckett

Photo by Xiaolong Wong via Upsplash

Borrowed smiles line my shelves,

dolls and baubles

to remind me

the good days aren’t lost to time.

The nostalgia works


and I can mimic their smiles,

pretty, consistent, and vacant,

until they become my own.

But eventually

my muscles cramp,

the smile falls,

and happiness feels

like a lie told in fairy tales.

So I drive

until I find some neon lights

and fill my arms with

new smiles,

happier faces,

telling myself:

This time,

this time they’ll do their job.

I repeat the mantra

a week

until I’m back at Target

filling my arms again.

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