"Before the Doors of Walmart" by Jim Walker
Jim Walker made the shortlist for the Shakespeare Selfie competition in the 19+ category. Congratulations Jim!
Here is his present-day soliloquy for King Henry the Fifth from Henry V.
"Before the Doors of Walmart"
By Jim Walker
Scene: In Front of Walmart, 5 AM, the day after Thanksgiving.
King Henry V:
How yet resolves the manager of this store?
We have been here since first
The lark her early matins trilled
Above this black and oily asphalt lot.
And still the doors are tightly shut.
Our hopes for one of “Only Six per Store!!!!”
Are fading like the morning moon
As shoppers without measure come to swell
The raging ranks of those already here.
While underneath our tired feet,
A hundred empty Tim’s with rolled- up rims
Are trampled like the French at Agincourt.
Throw wide the doors , good Keeper of the Gate.
Before our patience fades like nighttime’s dark embrace.
Good God, why do you tease poor fellows thus?
Through your windows we can see, like soldiers on parade ,
Rank on rank of Ipods, cell phones, laptops ,
Flatscreens, WiFi’s and a hundred other things
Our hearts desire, just waiting for our eager hands
To hie them to our waiting hearths,
I pray you, let us in.
For we are all the same and loyal host
Who daily fill our carts with five pound bags
Of Frozen Fries and Pizza Puffs
Till every artery, vein and heart cry “Hold! Enough!”
We are the ones who rush to buy your brazen colored shorts
And women’s tops from Extra Large to 6XL in numbers without count,
Though folds of falling flab still over- hang and jutty
Both belts and belly bags alike.
But now, our patience and our loyalty
Are tested like a virgin’s thighs
And those who would have been content to roam your aisles
With avaricious smiles , our purses full of credit cards ,
The balances paid down and limits all extended to the max ,
Will transform soon into a seething mob of rude, unsated greed.
What is it then to me if all your frail and geriatric Greeters
Are crushed and trampled by a sudden rush
Of rude and obese, tank- topped women,
Their shopping carts in front like battering rams ,
Driving all before them, as did the English Heavy Horse at Crecy?
Come, Gentle Manager, an open door can still all this avoid
But haste, .lest loyalty and profit be both of them destroyed
What say - will yield and let us through these doors?
Or do we hie our trade to other Big Box Stores?
The winner of the Shakespeare Selfie competition will be announced on Friday, May 16.