Top Shelf

Poetry is like

reaching for a box on the top shelf.

My hand stumbles around, blind, and

knocking over cereal boxes.  A can

rolls and drops on my foot.  My hand

finds nothing and my arm gets sore.

I leave, returning the next day

Hoping that I will finally stretch

to the top of the shelf.  But more cans

spill over.  The wrong boxes tumble off the shelf.

I try to not whine or grumble

but I can never reach that one perfect box.

Eventually I just have to jump

and trust that my hand will grasp it.

It tips off the shelf – nearly slips out of my hand,

but at the last possible second, the box is secured.

Once I finally hold it in my hands, I can open it and eat.

The hunger goes away.

(Carly Boucher)