PAPER BAGS

Ten years before the Civil War
the paper bag was invented.

 

But it was more than thirty years
after that war
that paper bags with bottoms
made it to the market place.

 

A half century later
I saw my first paper bags.

 

I remember them well
seeing them packed full
in Camp’s grocery store
in Madison, CT —
as I was
tagging along with my mother.

 

I’ve lived to see
those bags replaced
with plastic ones
though some still use
the kind invented in 1883 —
the biodegradable ones
that fade away
faster than we do.

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