Alley’s General Store
In times of yore, one humble store
Sustained our tiny town.
‘Twas not the kind where one might find
A fancy evening gown.
Instead, our needs — from nails to seeds —
Were modest as the dickens,
And Nancy Luce had little use
For lipstick on her chickens.
These wooden walls held overalls
To fit most any size;
A length of rope, a pound of soap,
A swatter for the flies.
We stocked these shelves to suit ourselves,
From cloth to cans of soup;
And if you’d heard the latest word,
You heard it on this stoop.
This heavy door, this creaky floor,
Have long gone unadorned,
And those who seek a chic boutique
Are urgently forewarned:
The goods inside are cut-and-dried,
No frills, no doubt about it.
“If it ain’t here,” they say with cheer,
“You’re better off without it.”
The months and years have churned like gears
Within our church-clock steeple,
But time and taste have not erased
This thread that binds our people;
For you can ride both far and wide
Throughout these hills and valleys
And find no store a town loves more
Than our own faithful Alley’s!
— Daniel Waters
West Tisbury poet laureate