9 to 5 Poetry Project, Poem 23: Shattered Glass

Hello, internet people! I’m back from a long weekend in Louisville with my lovely boyfriend to bring you Monday’s poem. The connection to work here is tenuous–it’s actually about something that happened off the clock, but involves a thing I bought at work, so I feel like it maybe kinda counts… right?

Shattered Glass

Tired feet shuffle across my bedroom floor,
Brush against more clothes than carpet,
And dodge boxed, scattered components
Of a future life in a studio apartment,
The lease as of yet unsigned, but waiting.

The unmistakable crunch. My foot collides
With something. Unfurled from its protection
(A thick rug and several sheets of TJ Maxx paper)
Is the now shattered shadowbox,
Temporary home to a prized dictionary print.

“I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”
The only lines from Prufrock that Etsy offered—
At least without a special request, which J. Alfred
Or I mightn’t dare utter and disturb the universe,
Risk an awkward moment, or worse, no reply.

I should not feel that “I grow old,” yet
Droop with the weight of dreams forestalled.
Between the cracks of who I meant to be,
And who I am—not it, yet, at all,
I fear my aspirations will not sing to me.

Note: This poem draws heavily from my own favorite poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, of which I bought a print that I then carefully housed in a shadowbox frame. Which, as the poem indicates, I stepped on after work today. This became one of those tiny moments that sent me into a spiral about everything that was worrying me, and so this poem was born.

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