A Box of Time – A Poem

It was time.

I took a box

and got my novel

ready to send it off

to my publisher.

The bankers box

seemed too big at first,

a void of space too large

for a simple manuscript.

However, I knew that the space

would fill quickly.

I gathered everything up:

every cup of tea I had drunk,

all the candles I had lit,

every conversation that I’d had

about the plot and the characters

with my patient husband

looking like a scattering

of post it notes

shaped like speech bubbles.

There were several hourglasses for

all the time I had spent

trying to find my way

through the terrain of the story.

The box contained its share of shadows, too.

Every moment of self-doubt

and self-hate

that had filled me

during the writing of the book

went into the box as well,

looking like a thick oily mass.

I could hear it squelching wetly

at the bottom of the box.

It was trying to rise up

and coat everything else

that I had put into the box.

To counteract the black mass of nothing,

I slipped in some magic:

The dreams I’d had

while dancing with the words,

dreams that would follow me

into the daylight hours

until I was able to

capture them on paper

went into the box,

the dreams shaped like small clouds.

One of the last things

that I put into the box

is a sprinkle of dust

that sparkles like the moon.

I saved the light

that was made

from the spark of the idea

the novel became.

I sprinkle the dust over everything,

this dust that became the idea

that became the book

and it sparkles as it settles in

amongst the post it notes,

the hourglasses,

the candles and the cups of tea.

On top of all of this,

I place the manuscript

wrapped in a protective envelope.

I give it one final pat,

a small gesture of farewell,

and as I place the box lid on top,

I remember everything that went into the story,

all that the story took from me

and all the pieces of myself

that I picked up along the way.

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