Handle With Care: Contents Under Pressure


PAD Challenge #4  At Poetic Asides

For today’s prompt, write a containment poem. There are a lot of ways to contain things: Jails and prisons contain people; zoos and aquariums contain animals; and closets contain our clothes (and other “baggage”). Your poem can be about the actual container, the containment of things, or even the attempt to break free of containment. Of course, any other creative interpretation is encouraged as well

Handle With Care: Contents Under Pressure

Would be great if I could crate
them all up, ship them all off
to some foreign port on other
side of the globe. How big
would the box have to be
to hold twenty years worth
of memories?

 Good ones would refuse to stay
still, folded. Would rise up and fly
around the room, zoom, zoom,
and pretty soon I’d be lost
in remembering.

And the bad ones? Heavier
than lead, would fill me with dread,
’til I walked away in disgust, unable
to wrestle them by myself, into
any kind of confinement.

Would be nice if, with a knife,
could cut them away with just
one swift slice, but then I too
would have to go missing. For
better or worse, they are mine,
story of me and you and what
fools we were to ever think
we could make it through
that thick black curtain of insanity.

Vanity and pride to dream
we could slide unnoticed
through that opening, while
dragging our baggage behind
and between us. But, slide we did
laughing like two little kids
unaware of abyss that hid just
behind dark drape of foreboding.

With a flick of the wrist, light switch
was thrown, and we were blown
out of cozy little dream we’d created.
Now stand, each to one side of that
bottomless pit we fell into.

Sometimes think you are still falling,
and I am still crawling slowly, hand
over hand, back up to surface. Each
of these words, momentary handhold
I grasp, constantly gasping with effort,
as I let each one go, trying to fill
that hole, moved now only
by echoes.

Elizabeth Crawford  11/4/10 


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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5 Responses to Handle With Care: Contents Under Pressure

  1. Yes, “echoes”, lovely and soft….sometimes we are glad it is all behind us and as you say, “The good ones won’t stay folded”. I wonder if we knew what was ahead, would we get up at all, or stay in bed, and pull the covers over our heads. Even when we think we have seen it all, can’t get any worst, we know nothing at all, as you say, “unaware of the abyss….”

    I love the words you write, again even when talking about the bad and hurtful things, you have a lovely way of putting it and so true. Perhaps “trying to fill that hole…” might be a form of healing, mending, keeping it together.

    Annell, as someone else said, at best this is cathartic. Time it found its way onto the page. That’s why I call them echoes. And yes, this is healing in a profound way, deeply needed and gratefully received. Each prompt has prompted a different piece of the puzzle, and the fact that I can finally say it, put it into words, without disturbing my equilibrium is even better yet. Thanks again, as always,



  2. Diane T says:

    My favorite line:

    Would rise up and fly
    around the room, zoom, zoom,
    and pretty soon I’d be lost
    in remembering.

    I can understand why you think he is falling and you are taking it slowly. Laughing like two little kids, LOL. What fun, and what cherished memories!

    Yes, they were and still are cherished. And that would seem to be the problem. How to forget only the bad stuff that happened, and retain the good ones. They are permanently attached, one to the other. But, these poems are helping. Thanks for your comments, Diane,



  3. Mary says:

    Lots of experiences and feelingsare CONTAINED within this poem. Memories are not all pleasant, that is for sure; but they are what have helped you become who you are today and that is a good thing. I like the part where you say if you would cut out the bad parts you too would have to go missing. So true! We can’t get rid of part of us, even if we try. Well written and important poem!

    Yes, Mary, you are absolutely correct. This poem is an important one. Made me realize the depth and breath of this experience and how strong our memories can be and how much they play a part in whatever shape or form of the individual we are becoming. Sadness must be honored, but must also be balanced by joy. It’s there, just have to remember that. Thanks for your words and the thoughts they have led me toward,



  4. pamela says:

    I believe this poem conveys how we rise from difficult situations. If we never had sadness, how would we know happiness? A beautiful piece of writing.

    Thank you Pamela, and that is so true. The utter joy I felt back then remains inside these memories. Just as the pain is retained in others. And it is such a gift to be able to write about them both. Hope you are thriving in this challange. I appreciate your ongoing support, more than you know, my friend,



  5. Pingback: Two From One | Soul's Music

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