Monday, October 10, 2005

For Sale

For Sale:
Was the heading of the ad
Placed in the free unclassifieds
Of the local free paper distributed

On convenience stores’ counters
Left in plastic tubes on rural routes
Read by housewives bored by routine
And good old boys looking for used trucks

“For Sale
Bridal Gown, unaltered and unused”
Perhaps it could have read
Unaltered and unaltared

An unforgiven infidelity?
A bride-to-be killed in a car by a drunk?
An activated reservist who bled out in Iraq?
The unanswered “Why” opens gates of poignancy

For Sale
Life goes on
Mouths must be fed
Rents paid, medicines bought

In cold dawns after sorrow
Reality reasserts for someone
Who can’t afford to pack it away
And pull it from a trunk in a grey future


I wrote the above after reading an ad in the Green Tab, which is, as described, a free unclassified paper widely read locally. That was a couple of years ago. Since then, I have come across a much better variation on the theme, attributed to Hemingway who won a bet that he could write a short story in 6 words:

"For Sale: Baby shoes. Never worn."


At 7:38 AM, Blogger madlila said...

But, I much prefer the longer versions. Hemingway's baby shoe story... I'd love to read it in a full blown piece.

And the wedding gown... perhaps you should tell it's story?

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really liked the shoe poem. Very very good...eddie


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