This week, we were instructed to piece together three separate types of poems. I’ve paraphrased the actual instructions below:
1. 30 or so lines in the POV of someone who has done something wrong
2. 40 or so lines from a non-human POV
3. 14 lines of 10 syllables each where someone is observed.
Here they are…
They never ask me what I want
And perhaps that’s why I do it–
Take it right from them when they think
I’m watching TV or even outside.
The boy next door always has Fig Newtons or Oreos
But I’m never allowed to even ask
If I can eat have some.
“It’s rude to ask, son,” my parents tell me.
“And if they offer, you tell them ‘No, thank you.’”
My sister says I’m just
Bored. “Twelve-year-olds shouldn’t be
Bored,” she says. She rolls her eyes a lot
But doesn’t think about calling me her
Every day. I’ve seen her.
She eats ice cream in her room
And while on her bed.
She never gets in trouble.
Says it’s okay because she bought it with her money.
But she says she’ll hate me like everyone else
If I tell Mom or Dad she does it.
Mom’s purse today has just twenty-six
Dollars. Just three flat bills stare
Back at me. What will she do
This time, I wonder. I shrug.
I leave the twenty and tell no one in particular
That I’m going down to Ronnie’s.
They think I have a friend named Ronnie.
But I plan to just sit there on the cold metal bench
And eat my cheeseburgers
And cookies alone
With no one in particular.
“Dormant in the Corner”
I am constantly
My manufactured purpose
To provide a place for my
Owner(s) to walk, jog, or run.
I don’t think they made me
To hold empty wire hangers
And boxer shorts worn
A week ago. I remember
When they opened my box
And marveled at my features:
A book rack, two cup holders, and
A digital readout that accurately measures
Their health. I’m supposed to be helping
Them all. Well, maybe not the child,
But the larger two who talk
About me as if I’m not
In the room and make
Promises to visit that
Never seem to happen.
The little one hides
Behind me sometimes
And I have to think he does it
To draw attention to me
Since he knows I cannot.
Their bones and muscles
Soft dust rests
On my cold
When they’re awake in bed
On the other side of this
Room, I hear them,
Once in a while,
With me and
He always says he’s starting Monday
She laughs and knows he won’t.
At least she has the dignity
Not to lie as she balls
Up her candy wrappers
And complains again
It’s possible that the woman beside
Me in this emergency room tonight
Has been here before, perhaps years ago,
For her own children. She is calm and dressed
In layers as if she knew the winter
Would whoosh in through the automatic doors.
The chaos ‘round us is distant and she
Only looks up occasionally at
The television, where a popular
Syndicated emergency room show
Shows how easy it is for people who
Believe they will recover will do just
That. However, I only think of my
Wife and how I may not become a dad.
*I tried to have the lines from the treadmill look like the incline readout (at a 90-degree angle). Too subtle?