Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Robert Okaji: Postcard from Pandemic

They stack their cart with essentials:

frozen garlic, six packages of grilled 

mushrooms, fifteen cans of garbanzo

beans, three bottles of truffle oil and 

enough alkaline water to float a fleet

of dinghies. There is, alas, no hand

sanitizer, no toilet paper. You must 

decide, he says, between the jar of 

organic marinara and the 2% milk. 

Weighing need against desire she

chooses the sauce, then selects a

bundle of the brightest daffodils.


Robert Okaji is a widely published poet who is currently working on the front lines at a grocery store in Indianapolis.

11 comments on “Robert Okaji: Postcard from Pandemic

  1. genienakano
    June 30, 2020

    Sad–when Black and Latinos are dying of covid with little to eat– some are hoarding not just regular water but alkaline water. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ivor20
    June 24, 2020

    And thought the supermarket frenzy started here in Australia…I hope you have fully recovered Robert… hugs from distant Geelong..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rivrvlogr
    June 21, 2020

    And thus started the pandemic garbanzo bean shortage.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. grimspound
    April 5, 2020

    Loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bejamin4
    March 18, 2020

    Agreed. Awesome ending!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. E
    March 18, 2020

    Beauty before existential crisis for sure. Hmm..toilet paper daffodils? 😉 Hope you’re well and good Bob.

    Liked by 2 people

    • robert okaji
      March 18, 2020

      It could come to that, though I managed to score a small pack of tp yesterday. We’re all fine here, and hope to stay that way!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Lynne Burnett
    March 17, 2020

    Love how this poem ends!

    Liked by 5 people

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