Poem: If I Were a Thing. ~ Mary Panton

Via elephant journal
on Apr 26, 2010
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yard sale sign for poem

If I were a thing, maybe I would matter.

You could sort me into the ‘keep,’ ‘throw-away’ or ‘sell’ piles like a yard sale.

I went in the throw-away pile a couple of times.

But you came back to retrieve me.

I went in the sell pile once when you gave me away to Ray.

If I were a thing and you kept me, I would travel with you from town to town.

You would spend time and money on me, packing me up, making sure my instruction manual stayed with me.

I might get to live with you.

And if I were musical…you would play me, make time to learn me, write a song with me.

You might even show me off on Facebook or Youtube, let everyone know you had me and let them hear my sound.

If I were a thing, I wouldn’t even care if you kept me, sold me or threw me away.

I would never care if I sat for days or weeks unattended.

I wouldn’t expect a date or dinner or a movie in exchange for my charm.

I wouldn’t smile if you brought me flowers.

Or cry if you wanted to play with that ‘other thing’ again.

If I were a thing, you would use me only for your own benefit.

You would not have to do anything for me.

You would not wonder what makes me smile.

You could take me out only when it pleases you or helps you with a paycheck.

If I were a gig, you might even schedule me in.

But I am not a thing.

I am a person.

Mary Panton

mary panton for elephantjournal.com


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11 Responses to “Poem: If I Were a Thing. ~ Mary Panton”

  1. Yeah, I remember. says:

    Yeah. I remember. Two people making choices. Did he fool you, or you fool him?

  2. Joana Smith says:

    I love that part
    where you say, "I am not a thing, I am a person."

  3. Serap says:

    Whew … inhale … exhale … and never ever forget that you are not a thing. YOU ARE A PERSON!

  4. Mary Panton says:

    There are no victims, only volunteers. Some write a song, some write a poem, some take a pill! Maybe love is foolish but it is still love. Pema Chodron became a monk over a broken heart. It is such a puzzle. We are all just trying to understand. We look at little pieces as we can. Crazy love!

  5. Mary Panton says:

    Took me a minute. 59 actually.

  6. Donna says:

    Brilliant! Raw! Vulnerable! Just remember, karma is a bitch!

  7. mariesquared says:

    Thank you for collecting your thoughts so brilliantly and sharing them with the world. You've given a voice to all of us "things" who've allowed ourselves to suffer in silence and confusion over the entanglements we mistake for relationships. Your writing is a wake up call – an elegant lesson, a revolution, and a valuable reminder that no person need ever be reduced, or reduce themselves, to that level. Not for any One. Not for any Thing. And certainly not in the name of Love. Keep writing!!!!

  8. Sylvia says:

    Beautiful, sad, brought me to tears! Truly makes me thankful for what a great husband I have…

  9. Jenny says:

    Past: Insanity
    Present: Neurotic at best
    Future: Sanity…the life we put there…what we create…the one's we will have loved and love again…Life.
    YOU and yours, always present, always pushing that future.
    Mary Mary…never, quite contrary 🙂

  10. Avery Tyme says:

    If you were a thing; like a Scientologist. Right?

  11. Hi Mary, you are one psychotic crazy-ass culty. Oh and your poem sucks.