Pick a Mall, Any Mall
By Kara L.C. Jones

"The shopping mall presents a uniform environment from city to city, country to country, day to day, season to season - a casino world, a sanctum sanctorum without clocks or windows; it is a world without borders." -from Observations on the Border by Chaim Bezalel

Is this the din of Babylon?
The sins of the father manifest in the children.
Sitting at the table next to me,
a young mother talks to another
young mother, both of them
no more than teen children themselves.
The one earnestly tells the other,
"If you will only believe in Jesus Christ,
miracles will happen!"
Meanwhile a young son swishes
a plastic sword from the sheath
at his side, determined to
defend his mother's honor and
her right to a disbelief in Jesus Christ.
Can life in a mall in the Middle East
be much different?

On NPR a young Israeli woman,
no more than a teen child herself,
is interviewed. She defends
her right to disbelief, her brother's right
to bulldoze ghetto settlements, and
announces that the Palestinians
cannot be allowed
to get away with the terrorist acts they commit.
The Palestinian suicide bombers must be stopped.
She says, "I have a right to go to the mall without being scared."
Can life in a mall in the Pacific NW be much different?

I sit in the food court, the legislative branch
of the mall, and I notice that the reservists are on patrol,
in full uniform, armed to the teeth with
radio, badge, hat, and cell phone.
The pace back and forth under the skydome
which provides the only windows in this prison,
the only clock to indicate it is still daylight, and in fact,
the sun is shining. They patrol this dome
of the rock, ever watchful for stray rays
of holy wrath that might lead to
war, discontent, battle
in this den of thieves. It is from their constant pacing,
their bulldozing of teen spirit
that we all might sit in purchased peace
at the portico of this consumer courtyard
in this temple marketplace.

Can life in a mall
anywhere at anytime
be any different?


Kara lives on Vashon Island which is a much more awesome place than she ever imagined it would be. She is a poet, bookmaker, wife, teacher, bereaved mom, facilitator, receptionist, founder, struggling p.t.barnum, turtle faithful, editor, artist, and a million other things that will prevent you from putting her in any one particular label box! Kara teaches through local art centers, artists in the schools programs, KotaPress and independently. To find out more about her, see:


And her class Expanding Poetry is now available in an online format from CourseBridge.com where you can register today at:



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