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The new normal

A COSTCO in Brazil

A COSTCO in Brazil. Credit: Flickr.

We have been a nation of consumers.
Stores beckoned in every mall, stuffed
high with clothes produced by barely
paid labor in distant countries;

stuffed with gadgets that lost value
the minute you left the store; house
hold items purported to be gorgeous
or trendy or labor saving, necessary

apparently for all. Supermarket
shelves had 40 kinds of everything
edible, drinkable. Now in our post
Covid [although Covid is not nearly

gone] they say the supply chain
is broken perhaps beyond repair.
I was a child during WWII when
scarcity was our daily lot. No

sugar, butter, meat, gas. The return
of “Yes, we have no bananas.” Now
we figure out what we truly need.
It’s less than we might have imagined.

Marge Piercy is the author of twenty books of poetry, most recently On the Way Out, Turn Off the Light, plus seventeen novels, a memoir, a short story collection, and five nonfiction books.
2023, Volume 74, Number 10 (March 2023)
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