Wednesday July 29th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something that has been: surpassed.

The market this evening went better than I was expecting it to - it was certainly more well attended than I would have predicted based on previous visits to Osoyoos markets. We sold 19 out of the 21 pints of blackberries we brought, most of our carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and some onions, bags of greens, cabbage, and bags of broccoli.

We didn't sell much fruit, but that was not surprising. With all the fruit stands around town selling fruit at well below any price we'd be comfortable pricing our stuff at, it's tough going. But that's fine - all of it should keep until Saturday's market in Penticton.

My sister arrived about half an hour before I had to pack up the truck for the market, so of course she helped with that. And then came with me to the market. And then hung out with Max when Kat arrived with him shortly after opening.

She's in her tent now, I assume sleeping soundly now that I've stopped making her work. For the time being.

Mine:

We started out
As master and student,
Talking about
The past and the present...
But never the future.

Why was that?
Was some part of me afraid?
That I would fumble you,
An obviously live grenade?
And then I'd be gone.

But you would walk on,
Leaving me far behind -
Bloody and forgotten,
Just as you'd designed.
From the start?

It matters not.
All that I have amassed,
One way or another,
Will one day be surpassed
By the next master.

3 Comments:

morganna said...

Over
And done -- nothing
Could be better than this!
Oh, wait, here come some more words for me.
This poem's looking better than the last
All the time -- this one must surely
Be the best one I have
Ever, ever
Written!

Greg said...

@Morganna: Hah, I like both the poem and it's irrepressible optimism! I too am sure it's the best you've ever written :)

@Marc: well done with the market, though I do feel a little sorry for your sister; she barely has time to smile at you, start saying hello and you're already barking orders at her. She's clearly very fond of you... :-P
It's quite nice to see a slightly longer poem from you again, and the structure you've chosen for it works very well with its air of reminiscence and rumination. I also rather like the slight ambiguity about who was the master and student in the relationship. The second verse seems to make it clear, but then the third and fourth verses hint that it might be all reversed, which makes the whole situation that much more interesting. An excellent piece!

Surpassed
"Mavis! Mavis! Dammit woman, put that cat down and listen to me! MAVIS! I'VE BEEN SURPASSED!"
"Derek, two things: one, don't shout at me. And two, if you ever call we 'woman' like that again I'll email your Outlook address book to your wife."
"..."
"What do we say when we've been naughty, Derek?"
"...sorry Mavis."
"Well. And good. Now what do you mean, you've been surpassed? Your sales figures have been the lowest in the area six years running, so that's hardly news. And your staff retention rate is so low it probably qualifies as a surreal number, so it can't be that."
"I don't know Mavis. I've just got a letter here from Head Office telling me I've been surpassed. They don't say what in!"
"Let me see that, Derek. Ah. Ahah. Oh."
"Oh? Is that a good Oh or a bad Oh?"
"That depends who's asking really, Derek. You really, really ought to work on your literacy you know. This letter doesn't say you've been surpassed, it says you've been surplussed. And.. hmmm... there are instructions here for me too."
"Why would Head Office bother with you?"
"Well if you're going to take that tone, Der–"
"SORRY MAVIS!"
"Don't shout. Well, according to this I'm to relocate your office a little."
"Where to?"
"The basement."
"But there are no windows in the basement! And no wi-fi!"
"Precisely Derek, you're surplus now. Basically I'm mothballing you until such time as we find a use for you."
"...Mavis?"

Marc said...

Morganna - bah, Greg's beaten me to what I was going to say. The nerve! It's like I took almost a month to respond to this or something...

Greg - thank you!

Ah, Mavis and Derek. These two are so great together. Though I do usually seem to end up feeling sorry for Derek... and this one is no different!