Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Requiem for an Old and Busted TV

Remember the TV we had that died that I wrote about in January? I finally got it off the dresser and into the trash can. I thought the occasion merited a poem:

It deserved better than this
left to lie in state for a month
on the dresser
in our bedroom

that bright, loud box
that once entertained our now-grown
children with cartoons
and movies on VHS tapes
when they were small
and this was all we had.

After nearly 21 years
this machine outlived pets
outlasted most marriages.

It spent its last years
in our bedroom
lulling my wife to sleep
with syndicated sitcoms
and cop shows

all with perfect picture
perfect color
for years upon years
until that afternoon
when she heard
the buzz and

the picture blinked out

it was a miracle it lasted this long
surviving two children
and five cross-country moves

Now cold, cracked, and dark
shrouded in dust
(it was always dusty)
I take the old TV outside
(it’s been a month already, for God’s sake!)
to wrestle its capacious corpse
of ancient cathode ray tube technology
into a thick contractor’s waste bag

Pieces of the television’s
already broken case
snap away on the concrete
as I stretch the plastic about
its carcass

For its years of trouble-free service
it deserved better than this

So do most people and things I know

good, evil, or indifferent
we all end in a landfill
of some description

all love, duty and devotion
(if any happened to be there)
a feast for bacteria and vermin

I’ve done my spousal duty
The trash is on the curb

days like today
I wonder

why I bother.

From the forthcoming collection Nymphomagic Electroshock and Other Middle-Aged Complaints.
Copyright © 2016, 2017 by Lawrence Roy Aiken.