What I Have in My Pocket

In my right jeans pocket I have
75 cents in change, a ticket stub for “Titanic,”
a dollar bill that’s gone through the wash once already,
a receipt from Hobby Lobby I can no longer read.
In my right coat pocket I have
a mitten, a ten dollar bill I didn’t know I had,
more change, a buckeye (I don’t know why),
a smooth stick I picked up on the grounds
of the Cincinnati Zoo the day we attended
HallZOOween—I was feeling magical
and thought I might cast myself some spells.
In my right sweater pocket I have
a stiffened rubber band, ten pennies,
my mother’s library card, a stray button,
and a card printed with the schedule
for the monthly Burlington flea market.
In my left pocket, always, I have
tissues; and in my left coat pocket,
my other mitten as well. This balances
the expected with the unexpected.
This reassures me
there’s at least one pocket
of organization in my disordered life.


Nudge: Examine the contents of one or both pockets of several items of clothing, especially things like summer blazers or wool pants you haven’t worn for awhile. Write a poem listing the items you discover and what these might say about you.

NOTE: If you want to put something worthwhile in your pocket, participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 26, 2012. Read more about it on the Academy of American Poets website, which includes ideas and pocket-sized poem PDFs, and in this Huffington Post article by John Lundberg.


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