#SOL20 Day 20: Does Anyone Else Feel

Does anyone else feel, she wondered,

Like a washcloth wrung within an inch of its life?

Like a running shoe, its insole black with sweat and impact?

Like the sponge that’s done one too many hand-washings?

Like that garbage bag after someone stuffed that one. Last. Thing. In?

Like the couch cushion, enduring flop after flop after flop?

Like that last scrap of soap melting into the soap dish?

Like a teabag on its third steep?

Like a pencil nub that deeply yearns for a sharpening?

Like a joke that tanked its punch line?

Like the hot-water heater after everyone has showered?


Ah well, she thought, as she straightened up, squared her shoulders, and geared herself up for the next day.

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

25 thoughts on “#SOL20 Day 20: Does Anyone Else Feel

  1. Like the punching bag worn out by the fighter, like the water bottle sucked dry by the runner, like the teacher worn out by virtual learning? Oh, yes, I can relate! Loved this!

    1. Yes! Or the chicken left too long in the oven, or the lettuce wilting at the back of the fridge…YES. Nice to know there’s solidarity out there!

  2. Oh yes, just love your list of descriptions of things that are on their last legs or been used once too often! At least they serve to put a tiny bit of humour into the way you’re feeling right now…I guess the list could be endless!!

    1. Absolutely! And, as I’m finding with the comments, there are plenty more where these come from. =))

  3. Yes! Like the bottom of the bag of freshly popped popcorn… just unpopped kernels. Loved for your descriptions… could visualize them all.

    1. YES! Or the potato chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag, left in the pantry by an inconsiderate 16-year-old. =))

  4. Worn out
    pencil nubs
    require a writer’s care —
    the words,
    spooled out,
    come from somewhere —
    Write it
    ’til you’ve written
    that poem that you heard —
    a pencil nub
    reminder, poems start
    on a single word

    — Kevin, a poem as comment to your poem (the “pencil nub” phrasing always reminds me of writing)

    1. And how unfair it is
      That a pencil,
      Worn through by
      A writer’s care-
      Should bear the
      Of the word “nub”
      -if anything, a pencil,
      Like a writer’s brain,
      Should become
      Sharper with use

      I absolutely loved your poetic comment, and you inspired me to respond in kind. Thank you. =)

      1. Long after
        I became
        smoother but
        smaller, palm-
        sized graphite
        surrounded by wood,
        I knew no matter
        how hard
        I pulled me
        into the machine
        of the world, no
        hand could ever
        crank me
        sharp again

        — a poem upon poem upon poem upon poem …

      2. <>
        I had to sit with this one a moment, I loved it THAT much.
        I am definitely going to have to write some more pencil poems – the potential for metaphor is astounding…

  5. Your imagery of what it feels like to be in the here and now is PERFECT. Wrung out, worn down, turned into nothing but residue (gotta love the soapdish; how true). Although you may feel like this at moments, Lainie, your writing is sharp and swift. -Zing! It hits home. I read this with a mixture of emotions – awe, commiseration, wistfulness.

    1. Thank you, Fran. Yes, commiseration and validation, sometimes, is all we can hope for. So grateful and appreciative that we have one another in this community.

  6. Loved! I had an emotionally fragile day yesterday. Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

    Like the brick hard clay that was accidentally stored in a bag with an unseen hole.

  7. The turn at the end of your poem is brilliant. It reminded me of something Olive Kittredge would say or do.

    My very first SOL slice was answered with a poem from “dogtrax.” I’ll never forget that – I’m so glad I have time to read through more of your writing and his gorgeous comments.

    1. Thank you! Part of what I love about this community is the interaction on the comment board. I enjoy having the chance to respond meaningfully to others and their work. It’s also validating when people do the same for mine!

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