Vermont country stores

No neon sign nor great marquee,
just a clothesline
of hand-sewn quilts
announces these emporiums
where usually
the owner's dog
nuzzles your elbow
while your arms
reach out
to an array of goods
as crowded as an acre of corn
and as compact as a hardware drawer:
maple syrup, fudge slabs
village maps, knickknacks
wood stacks
and cat-shaped dog biscuits
near which the nose
of the fellow at your elbow
grows more insistent.
You may not be a shopping fan
but when there's a country store
whose owner hums
and whose dog thanks
with enormous and gentle eyes,
you'll be around.

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