Monday, April 18, 2022

The Persistence of Branding Memories

The Dodge Caravan with one
Middle-aged white male driver
And his three teenaged children

Plus their middle-aged mother
Whips into the pullout turn
To claim it as parking spot,

And then they all clamber out,
One boy with Tik Tok haircut,
One girl in blond ponytail,

Another in tight French braids,
All wearing sweatshirts printed
With clothing brands and slogans,

Parents in Northface jackets
And Wranglers. They heave on packs
Dangling large water bottles

From carabiners also
Branded with matching logos,
And tramp off to the trailhead.

They’ll be back in a short while,
Having accomplished their hike,
Climb back in their van, and leave.

Wouldn’t it be something if
That never happened, the world
Turning into something else

Before then, this quiet flung
Without any gear shifting
Into a different scene?

That’s how it would work in dreams,
But this is just a turnout
In what might be called the real,

And that family, branded
By clothing, hair, hiking gear,
And vehicle, will be back.

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