This month the Sunday Night Swaggers tackled a prompt shared by Catherine Flynn, who challenged us to write a poem about a box. It could be about a box from photos she shared, or about any box we wanted. I knew immediately that I would write about my recipe box, but wasn’t sure how to begin. I had lots of ideas, and random phrases, but could not settle on a form. Nothing came together.
After lots of fruitless starts, I suddenly remembered Ian MacMillan’s poem, “Ten Things Found In a Wizard’s Pocket.” Bingo! I had my form! Though now I had to stick to ten things–another challenge!
The bare bones of the poem came easily, but I am still fiddling away with it. Every time I think it’s “finished”, I come back to it and find myself changing it–sometimes merely a word, sometimes cutting a phrase, sometimes adding one. It just hasn’t quite clicked into place. It’s a squirmy one! But alas, the deadline has sounded, so here it is, in it’s slightly drafty form.
Ten Things Found in My Recipe Box
An array of batter-splattered cards
Four corners with dusty, clustered crumbles
A whispered scent of warm spices
A marked preference for desserts
Yellowed newspaper clippings, fragile at the folds
My mother’s faded handwriting
An archive of good intentions
Time-proven spells for comfort and celebration
Sticky fingerprints, from small, helpful hands and
a handful of empty recipe cards,
©Molly Hogan, 2019 (draft)
Then I thought I’d play around with a more generic box in a “Things to do…” poem. It occurred to me that a basic cardboard box has a lot of things it can do!
Things to do if you’re a cardboard box
Package a pizza
make a cheap, speedy sled
Bedeck yourself with blankets
for a cozy cat bed
Stay solid when shaken
enclose and protect
transform at the hands
of a small architect
Yield to blunt scissors
become a car!
with unknown destination
Hold keepsakes in the attic
cuddle colored lights
Serve as sword or shield
in raucous pirate fights
Grant a reader respite
from the hurly burly world
Reinvent yourself until
your sides are frayed and curled
Once time-worn and tattered,
fold yourself and then
recycling awaits you
–your chance to start again!
©Molly Hogan, 2019
This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at the blog, Poetry for Children, hosted by the dynamic duo, Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. Among other offerings, my fellow Swaggers will be sharing their box poems. Make sure to stop by and fill up with poetry for the weekend!
If you want to go straight to some other box poems, click to visit my fellow Swaggers: