Comfort in Modern Times

by Thomas   Jan 9, 2018


An off-brand ballpoint pen
tucked behind your right
ear, fresh from the package
and tested in scribbles
on an envelope
containing junk mail-

a credit card-offer or a
donation request from that
high school you attended
for only a single semester.


The musty scent of a morning
newspaper, purchased not
for the stories or the photos,
but for the crossword puzzle
within, its constant presence
bringing a sense of stability

to the hustle-and-bustle of
modern life with its daily
rhythm and seasonal blues.


My refrigerator exists solely to
house my distrust of expiration
dates and fear of food-borne illness.
Seven gallons of milk, sixteen
cartons of eggs, and a few too
many tubs of yogurt to count.

My pantry shelves are lined with
more non-perishable items than
the inside of a food bank during
the generous holiday season.


We have spoken only once
since the day you left, a brief
email exchange- my inquiring
as to the brand name of detergent
and dryer sheets that you would
use when doing our laundry.

How anybody knows what in
the hell sweet dreams smell of
I do not know, but I find comfort
being draped in their scent each morning.


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Latest Comments

  • 1 month ago

    by naaz

    Congratulations Thomas

  • 1 month ago

    by Dagmar Wilson

    Congrats on your win

  • 1 month ago

    by Milly Hayward

    I too have been wondering recently where the distinction between verse and prose is made and this is a perfect example of an artistic piece of free verse. Too often free verse 'poems' are frustratingly nothing more than a dry monologue or one sided bland conversation with no literary creativity involved. So its a real pleasure to read something so well written and creative. Glad to see it nominated. Best wishes Milly x

  • 1 month ago

    by Ben Pickard

    I have to be honest, I've had my gripes in recent times as to what constitutes a poem and where the distinction between verse and prose is made and I do not know if I can fully draw it here, but the truth is, that doesn't matter here a bit. This is genius writing and deserves to win any contest - poetry or prose.

    All the best,


  • 1 month ago

    by Dagmar Wilson

    A sad piece beautiful written. All the best to you

    • 1 month ago

      by mossgirl19

      Have to agree with Dagmar. This piece made me feel a deep sadness.

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