Real Zombies Spotted at a K Mart Store

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I wrote the following in 1992. I was riding my bike on the East side of Columbus, Ohio - U.S.A. and stopped to rest in front of a K Mart store.

I saw their plain, blank faces
through a window at the Eastside K-Mart.
I was on the outside and
they were on the inside.

I studied and analyzed them.
Many returned my glance
but no emotion or signs of intelligence
were present on their faces.

Their walk was strange.
They shuffled their feet
as if they were drugged.
Were they zombies or
were they experiencing dementia?
Were they plodding blindly towards
the meat grinder of life
or had they already been ground?
Had they been lobotomized
or was I having a nightmare?

Their locomotion was much like that
of the single-celled paramecium.
They moved until they hit an obstacle
and then, locomoted in a different direction.

These people were beyond desperate and
they probably didn’t even know it.
I would like to help them
but alas, they would kill me for a cigarette.
They would kill me regardless if given the opportunity.

Source

They seemed comfortable en masse;
like lemmings following one another
towards certain death.
I, the stranger, viewed them
as though they were from another culture or planet.

I was afraid to get too close
for fear I would become like them.
You know what I mean?
The dark side had consumed them completely
and contagion was running amok.

I was born amongst them
but I am not of them.
I am different from them
though they may pretend I am not.

I soon rode away on my bike and left them behind.

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