The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #2861573
Posted By: Eiseley
11-Mar-10 - 12:21 AM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
The Strawberry Boxes

In the summers the girl workers in the far towns where they packed strawberries
would occasionally
write their names on a box
my name
is Mary
my name is
my name is
write to me . . .
they were lonely
in that place.

I knew from the boxes in our little corner grocery that the girls lived mostly in Arkansas.
When I worked in the hatchery the eggs came in from all over
an egg
would be penciled
please write
my name is Helen
my name
my name is
I am young.

Working girls from all over America were scribbling names
secretively on boxes
and hoping
there was
the right boy
who would

I never wrote because I, too, was a worker, there wasn't time
where we turned the eggs
in the hundred-degree
in incubators
the size of rooms,
even then mechanized.

Now, in age, I hope they made out somehow
with the local product
but I know

No man is a hero in his home town. The girls always want someone
who lives
over the
next hill
or in the far
one never sees.

Boys and girls I guess we were all lonely and didn't know
what to do,
so the girls
wrote it on eggs
or strawberry boxes:
you there
over the horizon
love me
I am lonely

But then they married and kept on thinking of the strawberry boxes
and the letters
never came
and would never
and maybe
the man
left them—
or they
never found one—

Maybe it is all solved now in the big cities where everyone
where no one says
no one says
write me.

I think about it sometimes and wonder whether Mary made out
or was it Helen?
they would be
grey now,
their kids
would be
grown up,
but do the girls,
I want to know,
do the children
still write
on the boxes
in the factories:
I am lonely
my name is
my name is.
Live being
as life is
maybe they do.
If I had
strawberry boxes
to pack
I would write
remember me
my name is
a thousand times,
and watch
the trains
haul them away
over the horizon,
but the boxes
are now
green plastic;
I must find
some other way.