Today’s prompt is an epistolary poem — a poem in the form of a letter. In particular, to write a poem addressing an inanimate object — Dear Headache, Dear Goldfish Bowl, etc. But that’s not all. Try to include at least 4 of the below in your poem:
- a song lyric
- a historical fact
- an oddball adjective-noun combination (like red grass or loud silence)
- a fruit
- the name of a street in your neighborhood
- a measure of distance
So I did all of ‘em!
Dear Bathroom Scale,
I’ve hated you, did you know? I felt as if you were taunting me; cackling madly each time I ate anything that was “non-healthy”; each greasy, delicious pizza slice or handful of salt-kissed chips or my nectar of the gods (also known as Pepsi) – any item similar in naughty nature. I tried to place all the blame on your metallic shoulders and then would run a mile or more away (mentally of course, god forbid I actually undertook more actual physical activity than absolutely minimally required) to distance myself from the lie. In my falsity and my fattiness, I was drowning amid a sea of Twinkie-scented denial and you were an easy target. You were an orange, I was an apple- it was clear we would never be friends.
It was obvious it was your fault that I bought and ate such trash, that I never ran the Peachtree Road Race, or that I huff after a single flight of stairs. And let’s not forget it was you who forced me to look in the mirror and feel beyond disappointed in the reflective me, that your presence alone drove me to shut out the possibility of *shudder* being seen naked. Apple bottom, watermelon-shaped belly, two chins…
I don’t know exactly what made me wake up. I got up one morning, shuffled my folds past the mirror and thought, “no more.” I heard you laugh and could hear your thoughts, “heard that one before, come to the dark-side kitchen, we have cookies…and more!” Or so I thought. So I thought it again, with more conviction, “No More!” and I listened…
And where I thought I had heard derision, I heard a soft cheer, a gentle yet forceful YES. So once more, I went into the breach, facing my twin in the mirror and said, “NO MORE!” And as my voice faded, I heard yours supplement, “I will be your guiding force” and I immediately thought of a line from a song, “There are some things in my life I’ll never understand, but they become the force that makes me who I am.”
Strange as it may seem, you are one of those; a force in my life. And I owe you a heartfelt apology for making you evil, for making you the bad guy, for placing all my blame, my inability to shoulder my own burden, and my shame all onto you. When I made the effort – as I continue to make the effort – you are there, helping me stay true. Your spot in the kitchen is a deterrent to the siren call of sugar, of fat-laden glories, and since your invention by DaVinci, I’m willing to bet you’ve helped thousands in the same way; rewarding us with decreasing numbers and increasing self-confidence as we stand upon your weighty countenance. And if I am wrong, then rest assured you have indeed helped me; I no longer fear or blame you, I make smarter choices and most important, I am gaining self-confidence – and that’s a gain I cheer for!
So I shall offer the only words I know will suffice. Thank you, dear friend – thank you.
(C) jp 4-17-12
*Lyric from Melissa Etheridge’s “The Different”