Monday, December 03, 2007

Three Things

[This week at Read Write Poem, we were asked to write about 3 pieces and we were encouraged to make them random. I finally pulled three things out of my desk drawer and they sparked this.]

Three Things

Describing myself in a word,
I'd have to say I'm "pragmatic."
I plan ahead and stay calm.
I'm generally not too dramatic.

As a rule I am bad at "romantic;"
with which my wife sadly concurs.
But I am not without some tender feelings --
I'll tell you to what this refers.

I opened my desk drawer this evening,
and pulled out just three of the things
that have been with me ages and ages.
I'll tell you the history each brings.

The newest is also the oldest:
twenty-four colors of wax.
Since I was little I've used them,
when my brain needs to relax.

This is not my original box.
Though its pedigree is just the same.
I've always had crayons on hand,
even when others thought they were lame.

The second of three is a jackknife,
But it isn't too sharp anymore.
My dad gave it to me for camp;
now it sits all the time in my drawer.

Once in the past it was sharp,
through the years, it cut hundreds of things:
carrots and meat and potatoes,
small sticks, bars of soap and some strings.

And once, yes, just once, it cut me,
when I slipped up one camp afternoon.
I had a stitch put in to hold it,
though it got better sooner than soon.

The third of the things from my desk drawer,
is a small, metal box made of tin.
It is only important because
of the things that it holds deep within.

Inside are some small slips of paper
that date from my high school career.
The scraps hold some nice little sayings
that I've held onto over the years.

A teacher in high school had asked us
to write for each other classmate
a complement matched to the person,
one thing about them that's great.

I saved up the whole pile of papers
on which are each class compliment.
Some are much better than others,
some tried only 20 percent.

One tells me that I'm a good listener,
several tell me I'm smart, I confess.
One says that I'm a good actress,
and one says just, "I like your dress."

All these echoes bring smiles to my heart,
the bright crayons, and notes, and camp knife.
They whisper my history to me,
remind me of some of my life.

I try to live life going forward,
with no regrets for "before."
But when I'm nostalgic I simply
pull open my desk's large top drawer.


gautami tripathy said...

Crayons, jackknife and that small tin box hold part your life, in a nutshell!


Jo said...

How sweet......I have a hat box like that.

paisley said...

what an absolutely lovely remembrance buffet you have available to you at a moments notice... this was a wonderful post.....

Linda said...

You handle rhyme very well; it's not something easy to do! An enjoyable read!

sister AE said...

Hello, Gautami. Yes, indeed.

Hi, Jo. Thanks. I'm betting there's a poem or two within that hatbox, then.

Thanks, Paisley.

Hello, Linda. Thanks. Rhyming poems are a different kind of challenge than non-rhyming ones. They take more editing, depending on the meter I've chosen.

Mariacristina said...

Hi! I think this is my first time visiting your site. Your poem is so tender, sweet, and cheerful. You are really talented with rhyme and meter, two things that give me fits. I enjoyed your array of objects, and their sentimental meanings.

PDW said...

this was a great place to find "pieces" for this prompt! my desk doesn't have drawers ... maybe i should replace it. :)

sister AE said...

Hello, Mariacristina, and thanks. Come back anytime.

Hi, PDW. Ha! Just be careful - there's a lot of pure junk that not-so-sentimentally ends up in drawers!

aka Danny Wise said...

You kept the rhymes going so well - great little story too!

sister AE said...

thanks, aka.