My Life a Box

 

My life is a box.         Cafe rug 116

Tiny

at

first.

Then it grew and grew.

It

would

shrink

into

a

teeny

space, then expand all over.

 

Comfy flannel, heated by the smell of bacon in the morning.

Some people put things in the box. Others took things away.

Some gave me stuff they didn’t want. I didn’t need.

Generous ones gave me things to stretch the box.

 

Some used the box to store their stuff, crowding me out.

Others stole some of my stuff, leaving cinders and dead insects.

My things lovingly packed, yet easily found by those who sought to steal the box, carting it away.

But the box slipped from their hands, melting like butter in a hot pan.

And it came back to me, misshapen but intact.

 

Not as straight or strong as it once was, but served my purpose well.

I patched it with tape and dreams, and set about filling it again with stuff to keep it safe.

 

Happily, once, I gave away the things I thought to spare,

Necessary, irreplaceable things.

It was a large box; I wanted to believe I’d find a way to deal with empty corners.

The emptiness spread out along the stair, bibs and bobs falling out.

Graffiti stained its rugged sides–other people’s crap.

It would wear off, I thought, but some still remains, sticky.

 

At times,

the

box

would

shrink

so much

it

pinched

my

little

toes.

Other times it would expand, soft and caramelly, undulating and billowing in the wind.

It grew so large it eclipsed the sun. As large as the universe. Just as mysterious, with bits of light.

Still comfy for my needs.

 

Contracting and expanding in the open air.

Strong enough to keep the rain out.

Except for places dripping with dew.

Spots still soft but dry. Spots hard and crusty.

Jagged edges. Sharp corners.

 

Dings and dents from other people careless with my things.

Tears and gouges, even holes, that let good stuff leak out.

The box is not as large as it once was, but large enough for me.

I miss one thing I gave away.

Miss most those lost through carelessness or need.

 

The box is not as straight and strong.

It seems to quake from within.

I rappel with a tiny light into dark caverns looking for a gem I once had.

Ancient monsters frighten me away.

So, I am content to spend my days

in

a

tiny

corner

of

the

old

weathered

box

patched

and

spotted

and

weak

in

places.

 

Padded quilts of memories I made myself with scarcely remaining skills.

Sometimes, I still smell bacon.

I bathe in the sunshine that shows the flaws, but also shows things still left, more precious than they seem.

The rain still comes to pelt the box.

Dark corners beckon me, promising a gem.

Just a sparkly bauble I once thought was gold.

Lint and mouse droppings, scraps and leftovers.

 

The box is not as large as it once was, just large enough for me.

And often now I watch it grow to envelope the night sky.

And I dream of flannel and bacon.

© Linda L Labin, PhD 2015

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3 thoughts on “My Life a Box

  1. This is a great metaphor. I used to habitually deprive myself of sleep to the extent that I would become delusional. I would think i was a cardboard box, closely surrounded by other cardboard boxes, and they were all trying to pack themselves inside me.
    I like this poem very much.

    Liked by 1 person

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