Document 3.11: The Property of Others

"He was worried," the priest says, "so he was writing poetry to console himself. I told him to pay attention to the start of things, and he said that was very helpful."


She shipped a box to me last week,
She shipped Fed-Ex.
The DVDs weren't worth a peek.
The extras all are really weak.
The actors all have ugly necks.
The music tracks were Dutch and Greek.
As gifts, I think these films are wrecks.
My presents reek
When mom selects.



Stuff is mine. Stuff
Like wine. Stuff

Looks large. Stuff
To charge. Stuff

Makes might. Stuff
Shines bright. Stuff

Cleans pores. Stuff
Is yours.


Your birthday came then. We were six, I'm told.
My parents brought a gift. The bows of crepe
Wrapped round some paper, crisp and orange gold,
With purple bears emprinted. I could weep
When I recall the pull of rage so bold
Angrily wrenched from six-year breast, to bleat
My helpless cries. My outrage spent, I long
For gifts like yours, my friend, for presents neat.
I'm owed by you the riches from that gift.
Unwrap the ornithopter! Strains of song
Waft on the ears, and leave me feeling miffed.
I grab the golden wrap and yank. Your toy
Of winged fun falls from your hands, sans lift,
And shatters, neither mine nor yours. No joy.


Some offerings are rubbery or sweet
Which is quite neat,

Like polished heirlooms to the throne

Wrapped in bows that mean a price
I shan't afford at all, that avarice--

Some offerings are heavy,
Like they hold some lead.


Some offerings are shiny, gold not taupe
Wrapped there in ropes.

Boxes, full to brim with gadgets
Two or three, they are all for my tots,

Boxes, full to brim with all the books I hate
Endpapers from endpapers these hopes--

Some offerings are shiny, gold not taupe
Wrapped there in ropes.


Some offerings are gifts for thee:
Your tree.

Because these piddling little bits
Do see me wrack my brains or strain my wits.

If you
Take back no package I'll talk proudly, smile, and preen--

Some offerings you see
Are keen.

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