Poetry Box

Today is my wedding anniversary and I’ve decided to make it (like my birthday) a license to do (just about) anything I want. So in celebration of that idea, I’m postponing running reports at work and instead I’m using my work computer to blog about whatever I feel like blogging about. And I’ve decided that topic will be…um…Tuesday. I would blog about how awesome my husband is, but he already knows how much I love him. So I will blog about last Tuesday.

Tuesday was beautiful. Glorious weather and gloriously uneventful at work. On the way to work, Peacoat Guy and I exchanged our usual good morning’s.

“Good Morning Peacoat Guy,” I said.

“Good morning Pretty Lady,” he replied with a smile and a raise of his coffee cup.

Once I got to the office, the usual bustle made the day fly by. Before I knew it I was on my way home. I was especially excited because Kyle and I were meeting our friends for a very tasty German-inspired dinner. (More on that later).

Everyday I pass the Poetry box. It’s a blue, shabby chest, set up on legs that has been reclaimed, painted blue and set outside with a hole in the middle and POETRY painted across the top. At first glance it’s really rather charming. The idea is that the owner of the yard in which this treasure is placed, prints out pieces of poetry, rolls them up into scrolls and places them in this box for passing pedestrians to enjoy. I decided to try my hand and pick one. Here’s the one I picked.

Poetry Box

“Often I’m awakened by awful noises,
jackhammers, dynamite, walls crumbling
and bigger ones climbing the sky
in their places. My future arrives and I
have to settle for it. I don’t understand how
I got here any more than a lobster understands
how it ended up in a tanke next to a Please wait
to be seated sign, but both of us can read
the faces of the cruelly beautiful women
pointing at us. I always feel eyes on me,
so I apologize to insects after I kill them
and to the salmon on my plate, caught
being nostalgic for home. Everything makes sense
if you squint just right, and at least once a day
I realize that whatever I’ve been saying
isn’t the point at all. I spend most days listening
to other people almost making sense, and I don’t
ask them what the hell they’re talking about
because they’re on television or the radio, or
because I’m eavesdropping from the next table.
When I’m not talking or listening, I’m in a
boil, my shell softening. I’m getting a good look
at a wrecking ball. I’m crumbling.
I volunteered for all this, accidentally,
by raising my hand, intending to ask
a question I couldn’t put into words.”
~UM by Tom C. Hunley

This poem, while funny, was actually kind of a downer. And suddenly my bright cheerful sunny day was changed. I continued my walk home, dwelling on the vision of a lobster in a boiling pot. Life was suddenly grim. My eyes were opened to unusual sightings. Two policemen stopping to pick up a bum sleeping on the sidewalk, I saw a guy at the bus stop, filling a Gatoraid bottle with beer and I ran across a monstrosity of a chair (if that’s what you can call it) set out on the curb. Horrifying! *sarcasm intended*

Car Chair

I really didn’t know what to think when I saw this. It looks like someone stuffed the car seat from a 1994 Arostar Minivan into my grandmother’s living room chair. Is this even real?

Thankfully dinner that evening brightened things up. So will I ever take another poem from the poetry box? Probably. My curiosity is too strong to deny.

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