If I ever decided to shoplift
and then got caught for shoplifting
I would say I was undercover
doing a journalistic piece on shoplifting
Obviously I would be prepared
have proof upon my person
I’ll take notes on shoplifting
So while getting handcuffed I could say
Officer I was expecting this
please take my spiral notebook from my bag
it’s next to my new scarf and bracelet
The police could then clearly see my notes
in different colored pens
to prove my research was extensive and serious
I would pre-scribble words like
Scope out the joint
Stay cool man…
I’m confident not cocky
If the cops doubted me,
to really push the issue
I would say,
Officer, shoplifting is an epidemic
an epidemic I tell you!
Because anytime you throw the word
epidemic next to another word
it makes it so serious
An example—Grocery Stores are bracing
their shelves for the peanut butter epidemic…
of 09—adding a year makes it dire!
Officer, do you know how many scarves and bracelets
go missing every year in this country?
And then I would quote a tremendous number,
to the officer, about shoplifting
and if all else failed
I'd take a shot at a risky
literary shoplifting defense ...
Officer, I'd say
I'll have you know I'm a poet
good poets borrow
but great poets steal!
-- Leah Ianonne