Slice of Life/SmallPoems Day 21 (out and about)

(I am participating in the March Slice of Life challenge via the Two Writing Teachers site.  Slice of Life is the idea of noticing the small moments. I have been a participant for many years and each year, I wonder if I will have the energy to write every day. This year, I am going to try to coincide it with my daily poetry writing, and intend to compose small poems on small moments. We’ll see how it goes …)

Day Twenty One

We walk into uncomfortable quiet:
the microcosm of society
inside the strip mall
barber shop;

We’re there for a quick trim,
maybe a bit off the top,
before the city
brings business to a stop

The boy takes a seat;
I stay on my feet

as every alternative
chair’s already filled,
and emptiness between –
each of us a piece
of silence in a game
of checkers, or chess;

every motive, scrutinized;
every cough, every sneeze,
every sound, magnified –

Gosh – this world’s
a mess

Peace (and open spaces),

  1. The piece of silence in a game of checkers… beautifully put. It’s so painful our current shared space. I wonder if we will ever view it the same.

    • I think yes, we will … but maybe it will be different. While I noticed the distance between people in the public space, I also notice that our neighbors are all looking out for each other — closing the spaces that existed. This particularly barber shop moment stood out to me, for the way people seemed withdrawn into themselves while out in public. Or maybe I was projecting …

  2. My husband went to the store this week and amongst the picked-clean aisles, people weren’t speaking. He said it was eerie. Almost zombie-like. People ARE withdrawn into themselves in public. Lost in the murk of their own minds and media overload.

    every motive, scrutinized;
    every cough, every sneeze,
    every sound, magnified –

    Gosh – this world’s
    a mess

    –This is the truth, Kevin.

    • I’m hoping this withdrawal in the public sphere is only temporary — I see more connection in our neighborhood but less in the larger world … everything is become very local (not a bad thing, necessarily)

  3. Eerie. I have not been to any malls this past week and I am thankful I don’t have to go in near future. The distance holding and silence sometimes happens even during outside walks.

  4. I think you captured what it’s like to go outside into the public which before appeared just mundane and busy so well. And that busy and others buzzing in and out of it, well we didn’t notice them much before. And now, as you said,
    “every motive, scrutinized;
    every cough, every sneeze,
    every sound, magnified –“

    it all, each move, feels like it’s been magnified at levels we haven’t experienced before.

    Thanks for sharing your slice and acknowledging what we’re all feeling that “Gosh – this world’s
    a mess” So enjoyed your poetry this morning. Thank you.

  5. I’ve become more aware of my own moves and sounds in this mess. Maybe that’s why we all seem more withdrawn…not in avoidance of others, but in awareness of our own behavior. Or maybe I’m just projecting…Everything seems weird these days, even the simple act of getting a haircut.

    • Thanks, Chris. I suspect we are projecting our anxieties and concerns now more than ever, everywhere we go.
      PS — I saw three versions of your comment — maybe a blogging error — so removed two and kept this one.

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