A colleague of mine on the English faculty at Bunker Hill Community College, Gila Rachel has written a very “contained” poem. Hopefully it will help you break out of your winter doldrums.
the container store
everything’s a container, dad said, except for the universe.
when we pulled into the hot parking lot, sandwiched between the movie theater and the travel agency, dad said, do you mind if I kneel and kiss the ground?
inside he pressed his forehead against a stack of snapware and exhaled.
he smiled at rows of plastic containers, glass containers with plastic lids, sandwich-shaped containers that snapped shut along the edges, rectangular containers for butter, egg containers with bubbled bottoms, a stainless steel garbage can to keep under the sink.
people pushed shopping carts with squeaking wheels over white linoleum flooring. people purchased white plastic hangers, clear under-the-bed boxes to store sweaters in summer, plastic shoe racks, chrome salt shakers, silicon ice cube trays, and tincture bottles of brown glass.
in high school i read a thurber essay called the container and the thing contained.
in it, one man asks another, why are you so black and blue?
the man replied, my wife threw a tomato at me.
the man asked why that should make such bruises.
the tomato was in can, he said.
everything’s a thing contained, i said to my dad, except for us.
– Gila Rachel
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Doug Holder 25 School St. Somerville, Mass. 02143