Shopping carts are designed to nest,
in perfect symmetry—this row of black
plastic baskets beckon me to buy—
Plastic—is both a chemistry experiment
and a lesson in Greek. (Plastikos means to be shaped
or molded.) Neither is a lesson I learned.
Sometimes my mood is stone. Or moss.
Or the cracked glass of the kitchen window,
or wood shavings curling into themselves
on my brother’s workshop floor, or
the sound of the metal links of my father’s watch
as he pulls it out of his trouser pocket
again (and again) to show me where he hides his time.
Lorene Delany-Ullman’s book of prose poems, Camouflage for the Neighborhood, winner of the 2011 Sentence Award, was published by Firewheel Editions (December 2012). Lorene Delany-Ullman teaches composition at the University of California, Irvine.