Noorulain is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and a two time Pushcart Prize nominee. Raised in Lahore, Pakistan, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poetry explores themes of identity, multiculturalism, and the immigrant experience. Noorulain has formerly worked as the Associate Editor and the Lead Poetry Editor of Papercuts magazine.
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I am lost in the aisles of large grocery stores
that have no substance,
between diapers and chicken leg quarters on sale
and have become that woman I saw
at farmer’s market all those years ago
when I was young and golden with the summer’s sun,
my taut waist in snug designer jeans,
a tote with books of poems on the shoulder,
and a bag of Fuji apples in my hand.
She was standing just a few feet from me,
holding an unremarkable baby,
her husband towering over her, irritated,
several bags of produce at her feet,
clutching tissue paper in one hand, wiping the baby’s nose,
and a few dollar bills in the other,
her hair disheveled, skin sallow, feet in house slippers.
I had looked at my own perfectly painted toenails and thought