16

Come sit in the chair that sorrow built
and eat at its table

Take out your pain,
examine it up and down
then transform it
into something
of beauty
of value
of use

I’ve made an entire house of guilt
a village from my suffering.
And this is where I live

Fulfillment Center

What has happened
to a nation,
a people
who think its fulfillment
can be ordered from a warehouse?

Yesterday I was listening to a program about jobs on NPR.  The guest said many people are leaving the retail sector for jobs in Fulfillment Centers.  Well, when I heard ‘fulfillment centers’ I thought of something like Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (though, actually that creeped me out a little bit).  But some place beautiful, that involved nature and spiritual pursuits and maybe puppies (but not puppy mill puppies, and no puppy poop), or maybe a library that had free coffee and tea.

Ok, basically I had no idea what a fulfillment center was.  But as I listened I realized what they meant by ‘fulfillment center’ was warehouse that dealt with e-commerce.  That’s just so Orwellian, I sort of couldn’t believe my ears; but when I looked up the definition, sure enough, I found this:

“Fulfillment Center: The location where incoming orders are received from affiliated stores or locations. These orders are processed and filled. These centers may also work independently of specific companies where orders are outsourced for the purpose of fulfilling customer orders.”
You can see for yourself here: Business Dictionary

I’m not sure I can express how profoundly sad this makes me.

Well, Well

There is a well of darkness
in the center of my chest
deep and steep-sided

I throw in a penny
then sprinkle it with tears
for all my wishes that
can never be

It’s so simple, really
falling and falling
and finally hitting bottom

Then I reach down
and draw out
a dipper-full of stars

 

This is for Joy, who has resurrected the Flash Friday 55 tradition started by the late, great Galen Hayes.  Check it out at Verse Escape.

On Outliving One’s Child

He pads down dark corridors
peering into empty rooms

Loss curls around him
rubbing his stubble

He swallows it whole
and feels it settle
heavy
in his belly

Picking at a frayed seam
he wonders how he can be both
so full
and so empty

 

This is for Bjorn at dVerse Poets Pub where we have been asked to write a poem of forty-four words including the word, “curl”, also know as a quadrille.