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The Man With a Bag

by Alfred Bruey

A man I know used to carry everything he owned in a large burlap bag. Burlap bags used to be found everywhere, but now they are rarely seen. They were great for carrying potatoes or onions, but not as useful for transporting Jell-O or soup. Hardly anyone else ever tried to carry all his possessions in one bag. No one knew for sure what was in this man's bag but sometimes he would open it to get out his pipe and slippers. Once a crowd of people watched him open his bag and take out a mattress, a dresser, two table lamps, and a pair of skis before he found the matches to light his pipe. This may seem like a lot of work, but this man had too much pride to ask someone for a light. Another time, several people swore they saw the front end of a 1966 Plymouth protruding from his bag.

Sometimes he would get tired carrying the bag and so he would put it on the ground and drag it behind him. If he did this while he was travelling over rough ground, cries of pain and distress could be heard coming from the bag. Most people suspected that he had a wife and children or maybe some pets or maybe he was caring for his elderly parents.

His Domestic Friend

As he enters the room, his cat leaps to its feet and runs to him and embraces his leg with sincere affection, not with the lust that often causes a dog to embrace the leg of the nearest human.

He stoops to pick up the cat, hoping to demonstrate his love for his furry pet, but he has gone too far and the cat demonstrates its dislike for such a show of passion with a blood-drawing scratch across the manís forearm. Then the cat stalks quietly away, never looking back, even as the master calls it in a louder and louder voice. The cat ignores him. The cat has become so human-like that his master is almost scared. The cool feline disappears around the corner into the next room. The man can hear it laughing. The man is pleased that his friendly beast is so happy, but he canít help wondering if the cat is laughing with him or laughing at him.

A Glass Poem That Avoids Sentimentality
While Teaching You Many Facts

No, I donít mean a poem made of glass although
some glass sculptures Iíve seen are almost poetic
but I mean a poem about glass which I admit isnít
too poetic if you go first to the dictionary and find that
glass -- pronounced Ďglas -- is an amorphous material
that is formed from a liquid by cooling it to rigidity without
allowing it to crystallize and now you know why another
definition says that glass is to be thought of as a supercooled
liquid rather than as a true solid although this definition
might make you smile if your head has ever gone through
a windshield or picture window but Alice was able to go
through a looking glass which can even be referred to as
a seeing glass but which is often known as a mirror but
letís switch our talk to the voyeurís friend the field glass
which is often referred to in its plural form and now before
I leave you I need to make sure you know that glass can
also be used as a verb although many people say glaze
and a majority of Americans go through life without ever
using glass as a verb and if you want to learn too much
about glass just get on the Internet and run your favorite
search engine and enter the word glass and in a few seconds
you will have more to read than you can read the rest of your
life even if you are now very young and now that Iíve given
you all this information I want to mention that one of the
definitions of Glass is capitalized and that is Philip Glass
the musician who avoided sentimentality with music for
such instruments as the Didgeridoo and with titles like
"Einstein on the Beach" and this music is not as easy to
see through as glass but maybe as Paul told the Corinthians
you can see through the glass darkly and Iíll quit now that
Iíve fueled your life-long quest for knowledge about
glass. I realize I havenít mentioned fiberglass.
Or the glass ceiling -- thatís glass used as an adjective...

©2002 by Alfred Bruey

Alfred J Bruey is retired from a career in the computer field. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications. His two chapbooks, Practicing Insanity and Greatest Hits are available from Pudding House Publishers in Johnstown, Ohio.

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