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sealed box

by nancy tinnell

Nancy is the author of the poetry book, murmurs, and this is one of her newest. I particularly like the elimination of all punctuation. It's a great piece...read it multiple times. A very appropriate poem for today.

sealed box

audible groans maybe human maybe stray dogs from the poorly lit alleys and vacant lots but no one is near to hear them as a grandmother rocks slowly in her chair dreading the

phone’s ring or a knock on the door with an insufficient message of sorry for your loss while not far away at the familiar corner stop long-legged young men spill out on to the street with their cigarettes and beers they call to one another on deep summer nights when it’s all rough sidewalks and sticky asphalt-streaked telephone poles with posters stapled onto them seeking lost dogs or offering jobs with a number to call there are distant sirens

and mysterious faces and each step taken with no trouble is a step taken with prayers of thanks and a calculation of how far it is to home with each approaching car quickening your pulse and urging you to run for no reason other than to avoid something unexpected unpleasant but you walk where you have to walk and fear what you have to fear and how could you explain that reality to anyone who has not lived it since there are ways we have learned to detour around trouble and its possibilities having learned so much from the past as well as being realistic about the present now able to anticipate though with anticipation comes dread of potential death or even more terrifying the sharp ripping pain from a knife

or a bullet that can’t be called back while people pretend not to see pretend not to hear but they don’t need to pretend that they don’t care because it is obvious when a grandmother must rock slowly in her chair dreading the phone’s ring or a knock on the door with a feeble message of sorry for your loss it seems some things never change we are sealed in boxes chaos is our coffin draped with a hopeless wrinkled flag where is the justice in that

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