Tuesday, May 7, 2024


It is the failure of words that makes us repeat them

When someone went to the post office
In Rehoboth with a pile of stuff
To mail back to the United States,

He was kindly provided with tape
To close his cardboard boxes safely
For the trip across the Atlantic,

But many of the items were awkward,
And the cardboard boxes were flimsy,
And he found himself adding more tape

And more tape, guiltily, sheepishly,
Gratefully, knowing the hideous
Wrapping job was unlikely to keep

The contents safe. Some of the boxes
Mailed ended up less cardboard than tape.
Six months later, and back in the States,

He cut open the lumpen objects
And found most of the contents still whole,
Except for one broken-headed cane,

Carved of ironwood, ironically.
Did he blame the tape for that? Did he
Blame the tape for his fragile notions

Of how to box up his awkward things,
The ugly tape that held together,
That had been given to him for free?

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