It is something of a relief to walk into the hardware store.
Rows of terracotta plant pots, smell of compost, birdseed.
A watering can doesn’t require any contemplation:
whatever I might think about it, the can only serves one purpose.
As does the length of garden hose
and the packet of jubilee clips.
It is like reading a Stephen King novel
after the complete works of Tennyson.
The bliss of not thinking. Either it does or it doesn’t.
You can even get away with being dressed like a rustic poet
who forgot to die in the last century.
The man behind the counter is used to old-timers in dungarees
and stained hats having conversations with themselves.
Yes, I think that there might be a case for this:
if you’re feeling down and struggling to cope with it all,
borrow a hat from a scarecrow
and spend half an hour in the hardware store.
They’re bound to have exactly what you need.
Especially if you don’t know just what that thing might be.