Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Two-Fer

[Totally Optional Prompts this week gave us a "Road Sign Redux" in which we were told of a very lonely stretch of highway where a road sign instructs, "Keep Right Except to Pass." I found my brain pondering some things. Two led to the poems here. By the way - I'm not really looking for answers on that first one.]

Well, Do You?

When there are no other cars on the roads,
at two in the morning in a sleepy neighborhood,
do you come to a complete stop
behind the stop line?

If you live alone,
or if your spouse is out of town on business,
do you ever eat directly out of the carton?

If everyone else is asleep,
in another part of the house,
do you say "excuse me" when you burp?

When there is no one else in the house,
and you know you are alone for the entire day,
do you always close the door of the bathroom?


Time was, we only bought things we knew
how to use, like saws, or fabric, or straw.
And if we didn't know how to use it, we asked
my dad, or your aunt, or the storekeeper.

And being human, we complicated things enough
that we needed instructions, a piece of paper
explaining how to use the widget, or the gizmo.
We read and saved the little piece of paper
in case we ever forgot.

And then because no one ever told us
that it was a bad idea to take a bath with
electrical equipment, and because
someone did, the little piece of paper grew
into a booklet, making sure we knew not to
use the hairdryer in the shower, and to
unplug the waffle iron when we are done.

And now, there are pages and pages
of instructions telling me what NOT to
DO with my item. Not to pour water into
a laser printer. Not to bite electrical cords
with bare teeth. Not to juggle chain saws,
if they are running and if I don't have on
my safety goggles.

And just in case, the pages come
in at least four languages. If we are lucky
we understand one of them.


Jo said...

Two very cool poems, I especially like the cheeky tone of the first (and boy am I bad-mannered (wink)). The second talks a lot of sense.

paisley said...

oh my... i loved them both... such simple logic,, played out on an anesthetized world... silly,,,

and i live alone... so no. yes. no. no......

tumblewords said...

I live alone and yes, mostly. Instructions - they never seem to apply to the important stuff! Great poems!

gautami tripathy said...

I too live alone and my answer is yes!

I loved both!

reading room

sister AE said...

Hi, Jo. Thanks (and the wink makes me smile).

Thanks, Paisley. (and yes, I'm smiling again.)

Hello, tumblewords. Thank you, too.

sister AE said...

Hi, Gautami! You snuck in while I was typing. I'm glad you like them.

Anonymous said...

I especially like the first. It opens up interesting avenues...

SB @ Watermark

SweetTalkingGuy said...

I like them both, a lot of thought has gone into them.
Q. How long does it take to write a poem?
A. Ten minutes and twenty years of experience!

sister AE said...

Thanks, SB. It's a bit impertinent, but I've always been a smart-aleck.

Hello, SweetTalkingGuy. LOL! just so.

Linda said...

I like the simplicity and clearness of these two poems!

sister AE said...

Thanks, Linda. These edge close to my regular voice - with a little bit of bite and a definite impertinence.