Old T-Shirt Speaks (A Poem)

A note from Melanie: I wrote this poem as a personal pandemic challenge to myself. With so much around me feeling very familiar and worn, I wanted to write from the perspective of a household object, with the hopes that I may gain some new perspective. For some reason, a rag from an old t-shirt jumped in my imagination, wanting to speak.

You just scrubbed my right shoulder, my

seams and stitches, into cat vomit.           I get it.

invisible words


I once was an entire torso, Dave Matthews Band

branded–now I’m just ripped apart remnants.

invisible words

Sure, I’m a thinner and smaller version of

my previous self, but I can still absorb pain.

invisible words

Sometimes I wonder why you don’t trust me

with your tears? Is it the beer, sweat, spilled  

invisible words

ink and Pepto-Bismol now burned into my fibers?

You, also scarred, can only hold so much history.

invisible words

Maybe that’s why you grab those one-and-done

tissues, flimsy flags that wave so delicately from

invisible words

your clinched fists. They wilt under the weight

of your mucus and grief, surrendering

invisible words

to amnesia. Why do you keep buying

those throwaway hankies? Why keep me around?

invisible words

Is it because we still somehow clean

each other up, reminding ourselves

invisible words

not only of the mess, but also of the

breeze that dances through frayed edges?

invisible words

Writing prompt: try writing your own poem from the perspective of a household item. What object comes to mind? What would this item want to say? I’d love to see any poems you draft in the comments below! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s