Saturday, March 19, 2011

What lies beneath the snow

Before Maddie, we had a golden retriever, Misty, who was crazy about tennis balls. She would fetch for as long as you could throw. The key was getting her to drop them: She would do it if you used two balls, throwing one first, then showing her the other when she brought the first one back, which she would then drop so you could throw the other one, etc.

(Maddie, who is also a retriever, couldn't care less. She might pick the ball up if she is in the mood, but then she will run around with it, or she might ignore it all together.)

During our play with Misty, balls would inevitably get lost in the small wooded area behind our house.

At our parents' beach house on Long Island, balls would also get lost in the hedges. This was due to Misty's occasional visits or to my kids playing catch or batting the balls.

Nobody noticed them when the leaves fell in fall, but when the snow melted and spring came, the yellow spheres would be more visible.

My mother used to call and say, "There are yellow bulbs blooming all around!" Of course she meant the balls. I noticed them in my yard, too.

With this in mind, now that the snow has finally melted, I began to notice all the little things that had been buried under the snow in my neighborhood. Yes, I'm talking about trash. There seems to be more of it this year. For fun, I memorized words that I saw on newspaper circulars and other scraps of paper and junk that I saw. OK, it sounds weird, but I picked up some pieces of paper too.

Here's a little poem that I came up with, mixing up some words but also keeping many together as I saw them. Let's call it my version of modern-day anthropology. It really has nothing to do with what I usually write about, except for this: It's about noticing, and noticing is a good way to keep from worrying.

Raspberry, peaches, pudding
Bottle caps: Blue
Bottle, Yahoo
Pencil, blue too.
Plastic wrap, paper cup, straw
Lamp, mattress, TV room
Will you scratch my back?
Feed your family
Manwich sauce, Subway
Sloppy Joe
Triple chocolate brownie
Purple crush, Capri Sun
White sock: One
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
Joy and happiness
Cash, change, megamillions
Prescription drugs:
Effexor, Cialis, Viagra
Red plum, spring water, blue moon
Good deal, shopping spree
Peanut butter M&Ms


Julie Goodale said...

I've been amazed and amused on my runs at how many pairs of underwear I've seen lying on the side of the roads now that the snow has melted. Who are all these people who lose their underwear on the road?

donna said...

I love your blog about nothin'. Just like Jerry Seinfeld. Interesting that in both cases something about nothing can be so entertaining and right on the mark. You have a way with words, girl!

PJ said...

A great exercise! It's amazing how much trash is appearing. Now you've made it into art.

Anonymous said...

I thought that your poem on the trash was very creative. I also enjoyed how you first started out by talking about your dog and then you tied in the whole thinga about the trash.

Unknown said...

I am inmpressed with how much stuff is underneath the snow when it melted.

Unknown said...

i really love the blog. its amazing what you can do with random words. i have noticed that their is alot more trask on the ground this year really make it stand out much more.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Diana and I am a student in Ms. Chipkins english class. I like your blog.. finding newspaper titles and other pieces of trash to make poems is very innovative and sounds like fun!

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Evan, another one of Carol's students. I agree that it is shocking how much debris gets piled up on the side of the road. We become so accustumed to the random colors and scraps that we don't take the time to see what strange objects they really are. Hopefully the next person will read the headlines of the old newpapers as they are picking them up and putting them in a trash bag.