National Poem in My Pocket Day

Yesterday as I was emptying the contents of my husbands’ pockets and my own, preparing our clothes for the Great Machinated Flume Ride that is our washing machine, I found some unusual pocketry.  I’m used to finding hairbands and pennies and small toys, but yesterday’s find caused me to pause and reflect.  And no, I don’t mean the kind of reflection where I put my hands in my head and think, ‘what am I doing here?’  It was a sweet, humorous kind of reflection about the absurdity that is life with children…and one of my favorite short stories, A Piece of Chalk by G. K. Chesterton.  In it, he spends most of a paragraph describing the contents of his pocket:

I put the brown paper in my pocket along with the chalks, and possibly other things. I suppose every one must have reflected how primeval and how poetical are the things that one carries in one’s pocket; the pocket-knife, for instance, the type of all human tools, the infant of the sword. Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about things in my pockets. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past.

How I love that passage!!  The infant of the sword, indeed.

So, I thought, lingering over my now humming-swishing laundry, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a Poem in My Pocket Day?!  Then all those who were similarly moved as G. K. Chesterton and myself with pocket reflections could contribute a poem… about what else but the contents of our pockets?  Then I thought it would be even funnier if lots of people printed out poems about the things in their pockets and put the poems in their pockets, too.  But that seemed taking it a little too far.  Just a smidgen.

And that’s how this post came to be.  Inspiration in the most mundane moments of life–just like the revelation at the end of Chesterton’s story.

Interested in celebrating National Poem in My Pocket Day with me?  If so, why not read Chesterton’s story and/or leave us a list of what’s in your pockets?  Or the pockets of a friend or family member?  Or perhaps a kangaroo you met back in college?   And if you decide to go all out and print your poem and put it in your pocket…well, kudos to you!

Emily’s Official Poem in My Pocket Day Poem

One plastic squirrel, thimble-sized

Next to a world,

Jupiter maybe, or Neptune

That fell two years ago, Christmas,

From our nursery ceiling planetarium.

I put Jupiter/Neptune in my pocket

Whenever my girls leave it lying

Where the cats might eat

The fishing line tied round it.

Cats.

Let’s see, there were scraps of fabric

Pink flowers of course

From the Sunday-Afternoon-Quiet-Dad’s-Asleep Craft Project.

And then the car keys

I had hinted to my husband

That he had lost and left somewhere.

Come clean now out of my shorts pocket,

Just in time to not get washed

And make me smile at God’s grace

Sufficient once again for my life and laundry.

 

So, what’s in your pocketses?

COMMENTS

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8 Comments

  1. Kathy on August 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

    The Pockets I Do Not Check

    Too busy and already
    turned inside-out myself,
    I don’t check the pockets.
    I might find loose change afterwards
    and it will sit on the counter awhile;
    then someone will put a penny
    in the penny racer
    to trip over another day.
    Once a ceramic bunny figurine,
    once my son’s I-Pod headphones,
    once a pocketful of crayons
    (WD-40 is very useful
    to clean the dryer,
    and red-orange is no longer
    my favorite color).

  2. Kathy on August 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

    The Pockets I Do Not Check

    Too busy and already
    turned inside-out myself,
    I don’t check the pockets.
    I might find loose change afterwards
    and it will sit on the counter awhile;
    then someone will put a penny
    in the penny racer
    to trip over another day.
    Once a ceramic bunny figurine,
    once my son’s I-Pod headphones,
    once a pocketful of crayons
    (WD-40 is very useful
    to clean the dryer,
    and red-orange is no longer
    my favorite color).

  3. emily on August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Dear Kathy,

    You made my day. May you find an unexpected $20 bill in those pockets you don’t check today.

    Em

  4. emily on August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Dear Kathy,

    You made my day. May you find an unexpected $20 bill in those pockets you don’t check today.

    Em

  5. Marlo on August 18, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Emily, your poem made me smile, especially the the car keys “I had hinted to my husband That he had lost and left somewhere.” Ahem. I’ve been guilty of that a time or two.

    Thankfully, today I’m wearing a sundress. No pockets to empty!

  6. Marlo on August 18, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Emily, your poem made me smile, especially the the car keys “I had hinted to my husband That he had lost and left somewhere.” Ahem. I’ve been guilty of that a time or two.

    Thankfully, today I’m wearing a sundress. No pockets to empty!

  7. emily on August 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Sundresses are very good laundry material, Marlo. Very good indeed. That’s actually the number one reason I have daughters instead of sons. : )

  8. emily on August 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Sundresses are very good laundry material, Marlo. Very good indeed. That’s actually the number one reason I have daughters instead of sons. : )

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