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Creative Writing

An Attempt at Poetry

I am not a poet. I’ve always wanted to be one, deep down, but I just never put the time and effort into it that I should have. That, however, doesn’t stop me from trying.

For this little ditty, I wanted to move beyond the limitations of the haiku form, but I wanted to stay with short, three-line stanzas. The whole poem stemmed from the title line, which popped into my head while I was writing an email to my friend Kelcie. It wasn’t intended to be so dark, but it developed a mind of its own while I wrote it, and I just went along for the ride. Be gentle, Internet-world. I am but a fledgeling poet; young, and enamored with melodrama and wordiness. 

Outside, The Sun Shines Yellowly

The alarm clock chirps its tinny whine
As sleep recedes and day unfolds.
The pointlessness of it all is crippling.

Up he rises, out of bed, out of sleep
Until his feet finally hit the floor.
Moving takes another minute.

The shower is lukewarm, unfeeling;
The breakfast cold and tasteless.
He longs for one to share it with.

Outside, the sun shines yellowly.

He joins the lemmings all in line,
With their shiny cars and coffee cups.
He’s disgusted at how well he blends in.

Left turn here, right turn there.
He wakes up in the parking lot,
Unaware of how he’s arrived.

He joins another line, this one on foot.
Drones glide in single file through glass doors
Amidst dead stares and deafening silence.

Outside, the sun shines yellowly.

He sits at his desk, empty, alone.
Cubicle walls separate him from others.
He starts his computer with a sigh.

Later, while drafting an email, he stops.
He can’t hold back any longer.
Silent tears streaming, he closes his eyes.

His head on his desk, he waits.
Soon, they’ll cease. Soon, he’ll recover.
He waits most of the afternoon.

Outside, the sun shines yellowly.

Drained dry, he heads for the coffeemaker.
He trips on purpose, waiting, anxious.
Not one pair of eyes looks up.

He dreams of curling under his desk
Slowly drifting off into sweet oblivion.
The machine would not miss his cog.

A sudden drive comes over him.
He rises, absolute. No more tears.
He packs his things; solemn, reverent.

Outside, the sun shines yellowly.

He murmurs his goodbyes hoarsely.
Automatons train their eyes on him, unseeing.
Their mechanical voices give him chills.

In the elevator, he presses up instead of down.
As the box rises, so too do his spirits.
Freedom has been here all along.

As the wind ruffles his hair, he thinks of her.
The first smile in weeks, maybe months.
I’m coming, my love. I’m coming.

The sun shines yellowly on.

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About Cory Hershberger

Neurotic/eclectic critic obsessed with pop culture who enjoys good food, good company, and, most of all, good books.

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"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."

-Virginia Woolf, "A Room of One's Own"

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