The grocery store
I drove my old blue
Honda CB900F motorbike to town,
took a small backpack along,
as I had to buy some Whiskas cat food,
the ginger coloured Persian likes
the blue marked kind that contains fish.
The small backpack had nothing in it,
was flat on my back,
the store had just opened
and I was in a hurry
to get to the Internet café
before the better computers were taken
by other customers
which would cause me to crawl along
on an old 486 dilapidated model.
In my right hand I carried
my blue Lafê crash helmet
and I was dressed
in a t-shirt and jeans
walked down five rows of shelves
finding nothing else interesting,
saw that the price of a one kilogram packet
of Whiskas had hiked by ten rands,
did not even touch anything in that store
and decided to walk right out,
as the price at the Checkers store
might be lower.
At the exit there were six armed security men
who were talking to each other
with boredom written over their faces
when a sharp alarm went off,
in fractions of seconds they surrounded me,
ripping my backpack from my back
retaining me with hands on my arms
while one searched my body
right there and could find nothing.
One said that it was illegal
to walk into the store
carrying a backpack
and I asked what about
handbags full of their belongings?
My backpack was empty,
they even took my crash helmet,
to look if something was in the inside
but could find nothing,
force-marched me through the exit
and the alarm went off again.
Their attitudes were somewhat hostile,
but when another customer
left that store, not by a till,
but by that exit
that alarm went off again
and then they realized
that they had a problem
with their security system
and not with me.
I received no apology,
had a crowd of other people looking on
while they treated me with indignity.