Small Victories

12 May

As a parent of young children, I so often feel that things are freakishly out of proportion. Time seems to run in slow motion or fast-forward depending on the day.  Big things seem insignificant, and insignificant things seem huge. But I’m more attuned than ever to small victories, small kindnesses…

I’ve been thinking about this poem from Henry Taylor’s 1996 collection Understanding Fiction.  Taylor grew up in Virginia, not far from our farm, and I suspect these lines were inspired by the parking lot at the landmark hardware store in a nearby town…

In Another’s Hands

When I came out of the hardware store

into the eight-space parking lot beside it,

a wholesaler’s semi had backed into the drive

and maybe blocked me in. But maybe not.

I got in my truck and twisted to look out

toward the driver, who looked me over first,

then the space we had to work with. It could be done.

Her hand, palm up, began to close and open.

I eased the clutch, trusting only the hand

to tell me where I was.  She watched the gap,

the truck rolled back, her fingers moved, then closed—

hold it!–and I stopped and shifted to pull away,

but paused and waved, wanting to hold a moment

when something, however little, worked just right.

5 Responses to “Small Victories”

  1. K May 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    Love it…your words and Henry Taylor’s poem…

    What a wonderful entry! :)

  2. John McVey May 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Hardware stores turn up in quite a bit of poetry (not to mention fiction) — more than one might imagine. Will add a link to this at my (unevenly) annotated list of hardware store literature.

    • Janann May 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

      Love it! Thanks for stopping by.

      • John McVey May 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

        no telling what will pop up, searching twitter for “hardware store” !

        • Janann May 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

          follow me @exurbancowgirl and i’ll follow back

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