Now that it’s once again sunny and warm in the San Francisco Bay area, I decided to post a poem I wrote during colder times, that small section of chilly winds, drizzly rain, and overcast skies during November we like to call winter.
THE SPARE KEY
Japanese Curry Bread! the recipe screams.
Getting excited I text Ryan, at work, the link.
“Let’s make that tonight” he says, “we have most of the ingredients.”
Taking stock, my list goes like this:
consomme powder – a substance to be discovered upon arrival
olive oil, store brand
I’m happy. I don’t usually grocery shop by myself.
Like a bird, the colors and bright packaging both scare and delight me
so that when I get home I rarely have what I need;
instead, disoriented with junk food –
I’m not to be trusted.
Today I have a list, an errand to be helpful, and a car!
I pack my bag and as a treat decide I’ll buy my favorite onigiri for today’s lunch, and tomorrow.
I take the spare key from its resting place on the shelf and head to the car,
the cold wind biting my hands.
Placing the key in the lock I turn – clunk – nothing.
I try again.
The key doesn’t turn, the door stays forbiddingly shut.
I finagle, turn the key upside down, remove it slightly, turn again.
Like a lover I try all and every position to somehow move my frigid partner,
coaxing and pouting in turn.
Twenty minutes I try and fail, my fingers cold, my nose running,
the baby hairs on the back of my neck that never grow, are never contained in my bun
stand on end from the shivers cascading down my spine.
It’s as if the key is mocking me,
equally ineffective for the one task it’s been given for the day.
Tears of frustration glisten in my bottom eyelids, threatening to overflow.
All my shortcomings contained in one failure to turn.
I go inside and place the useless spare key on the shelf.
A mere decoration.