Magazine August 10, 2009, Issue

Target

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
(with groveling apologies to George Herbert)

Yesterday I was shuffling through a store
And choosing several things I didn’t need –
Lipstick, conditioner, a candy bar,
A gel pen, Tupperware, ceramic beads –

But at the orange cheese popcorn I was sighing
About professed ideals and tedious jobs.
Was this the best my long hours could be buying?
I peered at several carts of other slobs –

Then heard a laugh, and turned, and Love was there:
“How could I mind you buying some cheap thing
Out of your costly work — how would I dare?
I bought you out of all My suffering,

“In spite of what it said about My taste,
And the endlessly more worthwhile things …

Sarah Ruden’s most recent books are the extensively revised second edition of her Aeneid translation and her new translation of the Gospels.

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The Week

Of course Obama hasn’t read the health-care bill — he’s probably still working his way through the stimulus.

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