Day 12: Dull Thing

Day 12, our task is to write a poem addressing something dull, or mundane. Sure.

Dull Thing

dull thing: I could speak
here of a knife worn thin
it is its metal, atom by atom, infused
into all who have shared my kitchen
binding us.
but a knife is a tool, best kept sharp;

or i could laud the shelf
found on a southside lawn, bought
for five bucks, with a pirating sense
of accessorizing a crime, for this thing
was once built in, now wanders
perching in living room, hall, guest room
most at home in my office, upholding
histories of other wandering things;

among them, silk jackets, high art
graphics, and the dull; old books
grey-skinned, shabby, round shouldered
so well known, that like an old wife, i need
only glance at them, and know their words;

but what is more dull than my car? dusty
creaking with memories, wear and care; this
car my brothers scoured the city to find, for mom
when sister died, widowed before marriage, without
heirs, and left her insurance as thank you for life; this
car was young then, not quite new, we don’t roll that
way, but it carried her through the rest of her days, out
in the back country, over the hills and away, to the green
quiet valleys she loved, there to seek meaning and peace

when my brother called, i flew up north, he picked me up
in that car, bought coffee, masked his fear, gave me
the keys on arrival; you might as well drive it now, he said
she’s leaving it to you. she left that evening, mama, mama
all you carried, all you cherished, all you lost, all you redeemed

this car, i wash and maintain and drive, but i’ll let it go
when the time comes, without fear, for a car is a tool;
memory’s vehicle is instructively vague, multi-fingered
untouchable, a glimmer threaded
through my life, this one dull thing i truly own.

Image by LoveToTakePhotos from


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