Jennifer Novotney

Arts and Crafts
We go shopping in the arts and crafts store
full of inspirational sayings and rustic signs
like “Be Someone’s Reason to Smile” and 
“Bless This Kitchen” and I am overcome with the 
feeling of childhood, being told how to act, as if 
my adult life has somehow not prepared me 
for what to do in all particular situations and so
I must need to buy these signs to tell me 
how I should behave and what I should think. Of course,
we all must look at these and say, that is so me, or
they wouldn’t sell in the first place. I hold up a picture frame
filled with a collage of different black and white shots, 
a couple holding hands smiling, children laughing, 
a mother and daughter, presumably, baking together 
with smiles, of course. A woman next to me piles the frames
in her cart, one after the next, a primitive, unrefined style
of unfinished wood, another one in shiny gold with slight patina
camouflaging the newness. She glances over at me and smiles
swiftly grabbing a wall hanging with a chicken wearing a pearl
necklace and a faded blue bow with “Be One of a Kind” in bold 
letters across the top. She studies it for a while and puts it in her cart
taking two more, supposedly for gifts, because why not when 
uniqueness is so darn affordable.

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