Inside the Box
Thinking in here isn’t as easy as it may at first appear with all
these well-worn paths making so very little difference, these
prescribed routines, kept appointments, good manners and
such. There’s something to say for comfortable conformity
and expected outcomes, appropriate language and clothing,
the gentle rain of certainty, the approval and applause of
family and friends. There is something to say for the usual,
the ordinary, vanilla without any toppings, the predictable
without any embellishment, without fireworks or fanfare.
In here we celebrate the accepted, we foresee the foreseeable,
we predict the predictable, the probable, the most likely.
We love the sound of the obvious, believe only the believable.
And sometimes, we reach out and feel these enclosing walls,
the flapped over cardboard top and this flooring. We carefully
measure the space, rebreathe the air we just breathed, and
touch the limits very carefully and we feel safely empowered.
Some Assembly Required
I’m looking for the instructions for all this,
The step-by-step plans the maker
Claimed would come along with it all,
You know, figure A and figure B, tab H
And flap Y, those easy to follow directions
Promised me when I bought into all this.
I’d gather the proper tools and spread them
Out on a level surface, situated just right.
I’d plan; leave off enough time in my day.
Perhaps, I’d make a pot of coffee or two,
Get my reading glasses, make sure there’s
Enough light to see things right, this once.
Perhaps, I’d try them out in Spanish this time,
Or French, or German, just to see if it ends
The same way for everyone else.
If I find I need help I could call in an expert,
Maybe look things up on the internet,
Google it, or even call in a neighbor or two.
I’m looking for these instructions everywhere.
Perhaps, my copy is gone, was thrown out, like
So many other things I’ve needed over the years.
Perhaps, I should ad lib, fake it, make it, take it,
Just go on with all this, instruction-less, blind,
The blind leading the blind, hoping.