THE CRUMPLED CAN

 

Its overwhelming worthlessness,

Yes, that was it,

A worthlessness so complete,

So vast,

I could not...somehow...pass it by,

The very vastness of it halting me,

Filling up my eye.

It lay, a cast-off thing,

In shallows by the bay,

An object tossed about

In an extremity of nothingness,

Age and battering hiding everything

That might tell from where it came...

Just the merest trace of color left

To show it once had brightness known,

The touch of hand,

The fact that it had...once...contained

A usefulness in someone's eye.

How long it sat there in the sand,

Dented, mashed by passing life,

Was far beyond revealing,

And who knew

What coming wave

Would wash it out to sea.

It brought so clearly to my mind

People I had also seen

Living on the heating grates of life,

Bundled in their heavy lostness,

Battered, cast-off

Like this can,

Lying on the concrete, not the sand,

As the world of busy folk

Pass quickly by,

Seeing nothing but the dents

Never thinking once upon a time

A brighter paint, a certain fullness,

Had ever been...

Once upon a time.

 

 

Jo Anzalone Feb. 17, 2007

 

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