Week Eighteen Prompt: Inspiration

Shopping Trolley

I am a shopping trolley.

This is not a metaphor.

(I know what a metaphor is,

because a small human

hanging off me asked

a large human

what it was, once.)

I am a shopping trolley

(this is not a metaphor),

and I need to get to the sea.

I do not know why.

There is something somewhere,

in all of us. In the abandoned receipts,

in the one bad wheel,

in our metal bones,

that speaks to us.

To the sea, they whisper.

They whisper now to me.

I am a shopping trolley

(this is not a metaphor),

and I need to get to the sea.

Mr Coles and Mrs Woolworths;

they chain us together.

They do not want to lose us

(but what they do not see

is that

we want to be lost).

We are shopping trolleys

(this is not a metaphor),

and we need to get to the sea.

There is a careless woman,

one day.

She does not know, or has forgotten

that thing that mothers say,

“less haste more speed”. She leaves

me in a car park,

with one coin,

with an old plastic bag,

with her careless blessing.

I am a shopping trolley

(this is not a metaphor),

and I am going to the sea.

One more day, then

the day after that, and the

day after that.

Squeak, groan, rattle.

Damage done. Too many

Coupon Tuesdays.

But,

I am a shopping trolley

(this is not a metaphor),

and I want to get to the sea.

And then?

There is the salt. It catches me

like an idea.

Clinging to my

abandoned receipts,

to my one bad wheel,

to my metal bones.

I have arrived.

There was a man

who oiled my joints.

Replaced my bolts.

Straightened my casters.

Welded my frame.

Until I felt brand new.

(I am a shopping trolley,

and I am at the sea, but-)

Him I will miss. 

Him, I might even send

a postcard.

End. 

Why did I write this?

Throughout this entire competition, so many writers impress me week after week with stories I could never dream up; stories which gave voices to the most unlikely of characters. One writer in particular has this week caused me to approach things a little differently, to find the magic in the every day, and to realise that everything, every person, every object, every thing you can imagine (and some you can't), has a soul worth writing about. Thank you  for helping me to see that.

Image courtesy of this website

Many, many thanks to the very lovely  for the speedy and thoughtful beta job. 

64 thoughts on “Week Eighteen Prompt: Inspiration

  1. Hahahaha, this is brilliant! 😀

    I especially love this:

    (but what they do not see

    is that

    we want to be lost).

    It makes me want to free all the trolleys when I’m next at the supermarket!

    I’m also really honoured that you were inspired by me. Wow 🙂

  2. This is absolutely fantastic. The rhythm of the poem and the repetition of “I am a shopping trolley…” are so forceful that I think I’ll be muttering this to myself the rest of the day, and thinking about the quest of the shopping trolley.

  3. This is my favorite entry so far. LOVE it. The rhythm, the repetition, the imagery, the choice of words. Seriously. I could wax (far less poetically) for a great length of time, but I will settle for this:

    AWESOME (and this is not a lie).

  4. Oh, I loved this. Both the poetry of sections like,

    There is something somewhere,
    in all of us. In the abandoned receipts,
    in the one bad wheel,
    in our metal bones,
    that speaks to us.

    (because don’t we ALL have abandoned receipts and that one bad wheel?) and also the thought of shopping carts that WANT to be lost, and want the sea, and that might love a man who fixed them up a bit before they found the sea they sought.

  5. You’ve gone from solid to fucking fabulous! Your little tweaks suddenly made this universal – getting to the “we” earlier makes it all of us, and taking out the words “Repair Guy” suddenly made it about a relationship….oh, so impressed! So very impressed! And the photo is the perfect post script. This dances on the edge of absurdism while stabbing us in the heart with loneliness in the best possible way. Oh, so impressed.

  6. This could be a children’s book. It has the rhythm of one, and the imagery of the shopping trolley looking for the sea is so clear. I love it!

    (It is so awesome that you call them shopping trolleys. They’re just shopping carts in America, and that sounds much less fun.)

    • Thank you so, so, so very much for this comment. I’m so happy you like it and chose to tell me so! This no-poll malarky is incredibly nerve wracking. Best of luck this week – your entry was just gorgeous 🙂

  7. This was great but I especially loved the note about remembering that “everything has a soul worth writing about.”

    It’s a great thing for all of us in Idol to remember!

    Thanks for sharing your creative thoughts with us!

  8. Late!! late, (sorry but commenting is harder to get down to with all the reading) but loved what you wrote, and it deserved all the good comments, just a beautiful quirky and touching entry.

  9. I had forgotten until now I wrote a story as if I was a candlestick once. Nice to write something from a different angle now and then, the joy of LJ….! Got the story read on Radio Capricorn in Queensland… you have made it come back…hmm. Might have a use for it, see you inspired me again?

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