>two minutes out of the box


This is a photo from my camera-phone, taken during my day job at my desk.
My parents take long walks in the country (which is easy to find where they live).
They bring home all sorts of finds. Often times what they bring back to share are photos, which I share here:
This was in my mailbox when I woke up this morning.Dad likes to call this ” Don’t fence me in.”
One spring not too many springs ago, they spent weeks walking railroad tracks which run through similar countryside.They were looking for railroad nails (not spikes). Could they find one with Sherry’s favorite number? And what about one for their other four offspring and six grandkids and two great-grands?
When they found mine, they took it home so Dad could spend a week making a perfect oak square in his wood shop. Careful so as not to blemish the wood, he drilled a hole and then carefully fit the nail into the hole. So as to not blemish the nail-head.
They shipped it to me in a box carefully wrapped in twenty pieces of tissue.
I keep it on my desk at work, which is where I spend the majority of my time. People come in to visit me and remark on the nail. But did I know, they ask, one side of the square has a dent in it. Yes, I sigh, I dropped it.
I’ve started a story with no end, but this has been on my mind lately. The more careful I am, the worse I make things. It’s a self-fulfilling phenomenon.
When I work at writing poetry, if I am careful with my words, I wreck the poetry — drop it on its head from the top of my front porch, onto concrete and watch it bounce down a steep driveway into the path of a Hummer that has to veer across my lawn to avoid a collision.
I love contrary statements. Remember, the more I care about you (and when I say you, I could mean a nail with 56 on its head, or I could mean you, if that doesn’t make you nervous), the more I need to remind myself to be a little more wreckless.

About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

6 responses to “>two minutes out of the box

  1. >I was born in '56, and was dropped on my head by my uncle Charlie shortly thereafter. Seems to connect somehow. aticolat

  2. >With poetry, I think, sometimes our first inspiration is the best- though I usually find with my own, there is something I can change, word order, or a phrase added or deleted, or a more specific word, to better express my intent. Often, though, the initial outpouring retains its shape (rhythm, structure, and sound) in the finished poem. Stories without end- I know about those- I have too many works-in-progress, with characters I care about and want to get back to, if I ever find enough time. (I am more fiction writer than poet.) Your parents sound wonderful!

  3. >That landscape is endless…big sky country right?

  4. >This is so all-over-the-place in a good way. I love your '56' nail. What is that by its side? A tooth? A rock?

  5. >I really like the story and your photography (on a cell phone!) on this is very interesting…the way you blend art.words. enriches what you share.

  6. >hi mike-ah we are 56 twins, then. but dropped on your head by uncle charlie? this must account for the jerseyalley gene you have?roadflyhi annie-it's hard for me to find the balance of writing without restrain and writing with a third person view of what i've written. i don't want to squash the initial impulse, but the details that result do need to be edited and shaped. if i am too careful (or too full of doubt), i end up dropping the poem on its head, so to speak. i look forward to reading more of your work. i need to find a discipline that forces me to push past the brick wall that forms quickly when i sit down to write a short story. i have so many stories without ends as well.hi kerry-yes, big sky country. the best way to experience this area is to drive through it so the landscape can unroll and unfold. i love the feel of open space, but i have to say i love love love the area where you live and encourage everyone to click on your name and head to your blog to check out your work.hi kass-it did end up all over the place, didn't it! on the block of wood is a smooth pebble my son gave me. and a *charm* another friend gave me. he used to send me a charm when he thought i would least expect it. this charm is my favorite.hi mel-it's amazing really how good the camera apps on a cell phone are these days. i didn't realize until recently how much video the phone had as well and so now i've been trying to video the moments when the pups are behaving. so far, not much has been filmed. 😉

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