Supplicants, Hear and Heed the Words

The message set out for all to see in the main aisle
Silver-framed. Balanced atop a metal pole
screwed into a four-legged base
the splayed-out ends
curled like toes digging into the marble floor.
The display
wobbly if you touched it. Poised and gracious
if you did not. The message on placard
cursive-stroked in red.
Today’s installment. Instructions from the source.

The advertisement spoke.

Hearing it
standing behind the counter
hearing it
paid handmaiden as I was
acolyte serving on a commission basis
hearing it and though rendered immune
by daily exposure and years of employment
(and thankfully so
lest I take advantage of my position
and help myself beyond the bounds
of the employee discount)
as always I marveled at the fact of
the persons drawn up short
who complied
and what they always said was:
What really is the difference between
the ungraded choice
and the upgraded choice?
The one and the other?
The this and the not this?
Oh please.
Help me.

Just as the advertisement predicted.

My response required
always at this moment and in this place
and so I always said:
Oh yes me too of course I’ve wondered
and the answer? The answer is
It’s the perfect thing for you oh sure
and look on the bottom shelf.
We have the larger size on sale.

Just as the advertisement foretold.