Untitled Blue Mug
Ours is the run-down Salvation Army on the corner of Beach and Stanton.
The wire rack bearings squeaking against the claustrophobic weight of clothing,
A loosely screwed murmur ringing from cold steel shelves as they tremored,
Barren and caked in dust-
The heater was always out of order.
Here, a younger, quieter me came to know the vulnerability of wanting.
To not know or have money enough to pay
For knick knacks and abandoned things.
To muster up the courage and speak aloud,
And ask the mean hispanic woman in the red vest for a discount.
I hid it shyly behind my back-
An old, blue mug had been forgotten in this place.
What were you before you ended up here?
A pretty mug made of porcelain and English flower petals,
But too fragile too expensive, saved for something special?
A favorite mug they always saw their better selves in,
But never really needed, that hung waiting in the cupboard?
No, you and I are of a different making-
Not particularly admired or wanted.
You are an everyday blue mug
Left out half empty on the counter top
Stained mud from the dye of lukewarm coffee
Quickly rinsed out with hot water
Or thrown deep into the kitchen sink
Or knocked carelessly over the dining table
Or used and used and used again
And you were forgotten in this place
You could not hope to hold in your contents for much longer.
Overtime, the water would seep through your cracks
Until one night, worn and tired,
You would finally give
And crumble into a puddle on my nightstand
But still you remain with the will to endure yet
Made to stay, made to last
The woman could not quite remember how much you were worth
“You can have it, sweetie,” she decided,
Turning back to fiddle with the thermostat.