Featured Poem: The Meatball Department by Billy Collinsby Megan Sexton · November 08, 2011
The Meatball Department
There is no such thing as a meatball department
as far as anyone knows.
No helpful clerk as ever answered the question
where do you keep your meatballs?
by pointing to the back of the store
and saying you’ll find them over there in the meatball department.
We don’t have to narrow it down
to Swedish and Italian meatballs to know
that meatballs are already too specific
to have an entire department named after them
unlike Produce, Appliances, or Ladies’ Shoes.
It’s like whenever you get angry at me
for reading in bed with the light on
when you are trying to fall asleep,
I cannot find a department for that.
Like meatballs, it’s too small a thing to have its own department
unlike Rudeness and Selfishness which are located
down various aisles of the store known as Marriage.
I should just turn off the light
but instead I have stopped in that vast store
and I will now climb into my cart,
clasp my knees against my chest and wait
for the manager or some other person of authority
to push me down to the police station
or just out to the parking lot,
otherwise known as the department of lost husbands,
or sometimes, as now, the department of dark and pouring rain.
Published in Five Points Volume 13.3.