A Unique Box of Tissues

This box of ‘kleenex’ tissues is like none other,
Unique, filled with 28,000 individual sheets of tissue.
It was presented to us by our father and our mother,
Ours to do with as we please, how we please being the issue.

At first the box is new and fresh, filled to the very top.
Its supply of tissues seems inexhaustible, never-ending.
No thought to how many we use, we waste them without stop.
Discarding handfuls, why worry how the supply is dwindling!

The box gets half-empty before we even begin to take note,
Before we start thinking maybe throwing away handfuls won’t do.
This vague concern about its supply now better use does promote;
Still we don’t hesitate for any reason to use another dozen or two.

The contents of our box continues to disappear relentlessly,
Until one day we realize we’ve expended three-fourths the supply.
Now we think perhaps we should use those remaining more wisely.
Regarding our early wastefulness, we now can only wonder why?

All too soon looking deep within the box we see the bottom is near.
Strangely each and every tissue removed now seems gilded with gold.
Our supply nearly gone, the value of each tissue finally becomes clear.
Whether tissues or the days of our lives, this story is repeatedly told…

Harry Edward Gilleland      1.6.02    printer friendly



This poem was published in the February/March, 2002 issue of
WRITE ON!, a noted poetry magazette edited by Jim Garman.