Losing Things

(A hasty bit of fun, in the style of Poet Laureate Billy Collins,
not my usual at all, but sometimes we need the lighthearted):


I might as well begin by saying
I’ve lost my keys again.
It’s the second time this month
when you get right down to it.

Poets often write about losing things—
like life and time and love,
the War of 1812, extravagant vases,
occasional heads.

But I’m reminded of the starfish
who sometimes loses an entire arm—
on a bad day several of them, in fact.
Just think about that.

And sometimes the arm turns up
on the far side of the aquarium
or goes rogue and develops a whole
new body to go with it.

Still, I’m not aware of any wringing
of arms, no cursing or unusual drama
or overwhelming feelings of guilt
and worthlessness.

And it’s not a sign that he’s sinking
into early stages of echinoderm
decrepitude, or whatever the starfish
equivalent of dementia might be.

Instead, he’s giddy with the knowledge
that he’ll have another arm any day now,
or maybe even two. In starfish fashion
less is not more.

And who cares if he’s lopsided and
no longer an eligible starfish model
because those two arms grow where
there was only one before.

Nature has a way
of making me feel foolish.

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