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  • Writer's pictureHolly Manohar

The Mess on the Table

To my right,

there are two gifts I never sent.

I never found my friend's new address.

In front of me,

hospital bills from last month's emergency.

If I pay them

before the end of this month,

I get a discount.

On one edge of the table,

an expired can of pumpkin pie filling

that I need to throw away.

On the other edge,

a collection of avocado skins

I saved to dye cloth.

In the middle,

two paper bags of goodies

from an art fair on the weekend.

Next to that a bowl of fruit,

some fresh, some very not.

To my side a piece of music. I need to rehearse my part.

Next to that,

some small art décor

I need to hang



There's an antique drafting set

that I bought just for kicks.

Snow goggles that haven't found a home

since we moved.

My husband's silk tie I ruined

but can't it throw away.

It holds too many memories.

There are a couple house plants,

sprouting leaves as dense as a jungle.

Below, a coconut scented candle

I seldom burn

because I misplaced the lighter.

Two antique owl salt and pepper shakers

look in opposite directions.

My husband's glasses and mine,

stare at opposite walls.

The statue of Jesus stands above it all.

Everything is before his gaze.

He knows this mess better than I.

He stands unmoving from day to day.

The mess on the table changes

like a whirling storm.

He is unchanging,

constant, reliable.

He has overcome the mess

of my internal and external world.

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