Sara Biggs Chaney
IN WHICH I ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN WHY I STOLE THE CHARITY DONATION BAGS FROM EVERY DOORSTEP
Because they were steaming parcels, hot with promise. As though the stork had come to everyone but me. As though every facade returned a favor—thin wrapped and flimsy coated, shaking just a little on the lip of the door.
I admit that I lifted each one—like lost alms, sacrifices. If someone comes to the door, I thought, I'll turn around. If someone says I need that food, I'll turn around.
Some were heavy, some damp. Some slid down the path with a terrible noise. Others tucked easily in my armpit. They were bowling bags. They were babies.
The fat spaces of the backseat held my bounty easily. Hugged it. And I thought: the press of leather against bread might give rise to a growing, an expansion of all that held me.
If someone says I need that food, I'll turn around. But no one said so. Because everything good belongs to someone else or dies alone on a doorstep. Everything good disappears in the end.
This poem was inspired by a recent news story about a hoarder who filled her home with stolen charity donation bags.
Sara Biggs Chaney's first chapbook, Precipice Fruit, was released in October, 2013. Her second chapbook, Ann Coulter's Letter to the Young Poets, is forthcoming from dancing girl press in 2014. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, Whiskeypaper, Menacing Hedge, Spork Press, SunDog Lit, the Yew Journal and other places. You can catch up with Sara at sarabiggschaney.blogspot.com