Passing The Box

For We Write Poems poetry prompt: Write Here, Now
http://wewritepoems.wordpress.com/

Passing The Box

Hard white plastic,
oblong, with flip-up
lids for each day
of the week…
just in case feeble hands
should fumble and drop,
won’t spill and get all mixed
up together.
Seven of them fixed. Marked
with large print letters because
old people lose ability to clearly
see what is right there in front
of them. Beginning with S
and ending with another.
Seven days, seven letters, each
with raised brail dots in bottom
right corner for feeling way
when sight is lost completely.

Hate the thing.
Used to belong to her,
she had several of them,
each a different muted color,
growing in size as years passed
one after another. Didn’t need it
last year, all of her time was done
passing. Somehow box got passed
on and now resides here on far
left corner of desktop. Didn’t need,
or want it last year, just one half
tablet every day. Now five nestle
in depths of each tightly lidded
compartment, needing to be
swallowed at different times
each day, another reminder
of time passing.

This old woman wants
to forget. Put time in that
hard plastic box, snap all those
lids tightly in place, retain
some element of grace, while
time is still left for passing.

Elizabeth Crawford  6/22/11

Process Notes: Wasn’t going to do this today. Busy schedule and just couldn’t settle on one thing to write about. But, went and read Irene’s poem and immediately knew what I could write about. Really do hate the thing, but it reminds me of my mother, at least twice daily. Swore I’d never use it, but time passes, things change, we change with them. Thanks for the inspiration, Irene.

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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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16 Responses to Passing The Box

  1. margo roby says:

    I have three of the wretched things. One next to the bed for nighttime pills, one next to where I eat supper for the one to take with food but not near coffee drinking, and one next to my toothbrush for mornings…sigh! My mother has not resorted to them yet, but I did catch her placing a lid with a bunch of pills on the floor between her bedroom and the kitchen. I had such a laugh when she told me she is still capable of missing them.
    And, I don’t think you can claim old yet, Elizabeth, not in this day. But I appreciated the emotion that comes through the tone of the poem.

    margo

    Margo, this piece surprised me. I started with the intention of simply describing the thing, and got flooded with feelings and memories. I could have gone on at great length, but decided to just stop before I lost my way completely. And seriously? Didn’t realize there was so much attached to that one simple object. We learn so much from poetry, yes?

    Elizabeth

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  2. Elizabeth, oh, the dreaded pill box, while my mom didn’t have one my father did. I agree there is a lot of emotion going on here. I am glad you took the time to write to this prompt.

    Pamela

    Pamela, once I decided to write, I got a bit overwhelmed and that shows up in the poem. I wonder about the things someone might find themselves writing about if this keyboard passes to another. I tried to be judicious about where I went, but knew I had little control over that. Reality is, I actually like the poem because it says something very important to me, about me. Thanks for the prompt, my friend, bucking my own resistance is a good thing, lol.

    Elizabeth

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  3. Oh I so relate. It is all such a wonderment! I love the last stanza especially!!!!!! SNAP those lids!!!!

    Lol, thanks Sherry, I have and will continue. Thanks,

    Elizabeth

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  4. Poets United says:

    Tough topic, but so authentic – glad you squeezed in the time to write.

    Time constraints can be a real blessing, certainly were here. It forced me to stop, lol. Thanks for stopping by,

    Elizabeth

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  5. brenda w says:

    My dad had a kidney transplant last spring (my brother was the donor). The Virginia Mason Clinic gave dad the biggest honking pill box I’d ever seen. He had to take so many pills, and still continues, though was able to drop some. He’s doing well.

    I appreciate the honesty of your piece. It’s painful and real.

    Brenda, when I would fix her breakfast, I had to put her pill box on the tray. She’d open it first, sometimes asking me what day it was. Amazingly enough, even as the pills multiplied, she still knew the name of each and exactly what it was for. I’m glad I wrote the poem, it was time.

    Elizabeth

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  6. Mike Patrick says:

    Ah, the gift box of the ages . . . or is it aged. I forget. Did I take my pills today? What day is this?

    And you are asking me? Why? Do I know you? Perhaps we met in therapy?

    Elizabeth

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  7. jinksy says:

    My Dad ended up with one of these- but they’re only useful If you still know what day it is, and have fingers strong enough to open the perishing thing! LOL

    This one isn’t hard to open, and if I lose track of the days, I’ll turn on my computer, if I remember that I have one and how to turn it on, lol.

    Elizabeth

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  8. neil reid says:

    Reality not aside, how chilling I thought to myself, your mother’s pill box, and now, also yours. Don’t know exactly why (well maybe I do). Some connections I resist looking at. Well said, this poem, if for nothing else, but there is more, certainly. And the description itself honed right into the precise practical reality too, how we “try” to compensate. (I remember that with my mom too, always one step behind, trying to catch up to a falling star.) Life from the point of view of a small compartmented plastic box. Appreciate the honesty of this poem too.
    Thanks Elizabeth!

    Neil, thanks for being direct. This poem was a frustration to me and I think that worked itself into the poem. But, I am so glad I wrote it because these comments have been a revelation. Most everyone could find something to relate to within the words. My words, my feelings, thoughts, and sort of odd angled perspective. Amazingly enough, that seems to have banished the fear that this object held for me. It was a spur of the moment decision to write it all. Then had to stop because it was getting too weildy and out of hand. Not a satisfying write, but satisfying only afterward. The oppositions in force, but now faded and much better understood.

    I love that line about your Mother, “one step behind, trying to catch a falling star.” Incredible illumination. Thank you,

    Elizabeth

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  9. Susannah says:

    Oh Elizabeth, this poem has so much ‘charge’. I am sure for many of us, seeing or owning one of these boxes is a real trigger for memories and feelings. You captured this well in your words.

    (Perhaps the box could be decorated or adorned in some way? To take away its plastic utility. To take away the associations, the connotations. Perhaps in some way you could make it a ‘positive’…make it your own. . . even if you placed THAT box in a bigger beautiful box, so that it is what you see on the corner of your desk and that is what ‘registers’ with your psyche.)

    x

    Thanks Susannah, but the box no longer holds what it did in the past. This poem and the next one, changed that in ways I can’t begin to explain, and may never fully comprehend. Now it’s just a pillbox, something I need to keep myself on track, a part of my routine. That is amazing to me.

    Elizabeth

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  10. irene says:

    Hello and hugs, Elizabeth! How did I inspire, scratching head…but I’m glad you wrote anyway. I remember the pillbox very well, my dad’s, and I wish I could utter a four letter word.

    Utter away Irene, I have certainly done so more times than not. It was your directness that inspired me and the first thing I saw was the pillbox and so that’s where I intended to start, but obviously never got beyond it. It had apparently been building for a while. Glad I got it out and that others can relate and identify. I’ll do the rest of the space some other time. Keeping my fingers crossed, of course, that this cluttered room doesn’t have too many more bombs lying in wait for me. Thanks again,

    Elizabeth

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  11. I still got my dad’s pill box. You kind of brought back all kinds of memories…

    a statement

    Thank you Gautami, seems that is true for many of the people who read this, but no where more deeply than right here while I wrote it. And that is good, because I found some resolution in doing so.

    Elizabeth

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  12. nan says:

    Strong poem, and one so many can relate to — in terms with what passes to us that we think won’t possibly be ours. Great descriptive language. When thinking of those lids snapping down, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if they could make tiny music box lids, that when opened, played a different song each day of the week? Maybe opening and closing those lids would be more fun.

    Nan, it is such a brisk sound and I have grown to sort of like it. It feels immediate and active. But, I certainly like your idea of music boxes. Of course, the songs would have to be self-chosen as well, and the choosing would be best on a bright sun shiney day. Thanks for that wonderful image,

    Elizabeth

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  13. jeanneaguilar says:

    Your description of the pill box brings me into feeling the frustration as it builds and ends so perfectly with those last six lines, putting your finger right on the emotion. So perfect how the pill box bears the blame! Blasted Pill Box!

    Thank you Jeane. I wrote a second piece to another prompt. The Pill Box and I found a resolution. And I didn’t have to blast it afterall.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  14. p1ece5 says:

    The attachment of the memories to things, pushing the past to the present. A powerful poem to say the least. I can relate, taking meds 4 times a day totalling 27 pills a day. The day my doctor gave me a free promotional pill box with alarms to set for each time i need to medicate, i realized middle aged sucks. The connection to your mom’s need and now your need is a powerful statement and an even more powerful piece. You may wish to slam those lids shut, dealing with them secretly, but lady, you have grace. Now just take a pill and a camera, and let the world awe you.

    With a good friend like you, willing to see the same world, that’s a cinch. Thanks hon,

    Elizabeth
    ps. Thanks for the grace.

    Like

  15. TheMsLvh says:

    Powerful writing…makes one think.

    Thanks and welcome MsLvh. Glad you feel that way and thinking is good.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  16. Mr. Walker says:

    Elizabeth, this one brought tears to my eyes. It touches something deep. I’m not there yet, but I worry about my mom, and I watch her worry about her mom. Yes, I’m 45 and my grandmother is still alive, a fantastic and loving great-grandmother to my boys. And your poem immediately brought up the image of her pillbox. Time is passing, and with it comes a certain dread. Thank you for this – powerful, thoughtful, and touching.

    Richard

    Richard, it brought a lot more than tears to my own. Had no idea of what was hidden deep in those snapped open compartments. My Mother lived to age 91 and my grandchildren each found a way to separate her from all the other grandparents surrounding her, calling her Grandma Great, white-haired granma, grammy, etc. It was wonderful to see her eyes light up at their creative efforts to make sure she knew she was special.

    This was a hard write, but well worth the effort, and thank you for your honest response,

    Elizabeth

    Like

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