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The Short Way Home - a poetry blog

Transcending Retail Suggestions

Jill Cooper

The dog food and water dishes

at the pet supply store cost $6.00, or

something like that. They had a bone

motif on them. Purple bones, I guess

so that you don't get it mixed

up and accidentally pour your

cereal into the dog dish, or to

help you think that it has special

unknown qualities that will make

you a good dog owner. It is a dish,

heavy, and decorated.

 

In an antique shop, in

the next town, there are two

real crystal dishes, heavy,

and decorated, shaped not so differently

than the dog food and water dishes

that were at the pet supply store.

These crystal ones are $1.00 each

because quality crystal knick knacks

are plentiful. A shelf full of some

old woman's china cabinet teeters

over with teacups and gold leaf plates,

Victorian salt and pepper shakers,

gilded spoons, oddities (as promised

on the sign outside), nutcrackers and

stacks of glittering glass objects

with cuts of snowflakes and flowers

and ripples and diamond places for

light to catch in corrugations

and geometries intended to bring

about... delight.

 

So the dog's water and food dishes

are these heavy clear crystal,

luminous things, sparkling with clean

water, and pretty with kibble.

A transcendent set of dishes

on the burnished gold concrete

floor close to the window where

the snow is falling outside softly

and near enough to the fire

to be in the cozy space,

next to the bookshelf

in this age of plenty.

 

This poem is about a

bargain too, but it is

about the unexpected

pleasure of

transcending

what you

were

told

to

do.

 

--Jill Cooper

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