covered in darkness
sitting between the two walls
waiting for the noise
walking down the concrete rows
mind lost in all the boxes
This poem about is about a child and her mother. The mother of the child works two jobs, one of which is a second shift. The child is left home alone during this shift.
In the poem, the first three lines are about the child and the last two lines are about the mother. This poem is a tanka, written in 5 7 5 7 7, and this form lent itself to the two subjects of the poem.
The poem starts (covered in darkness) with the child home alone at night. The child is scared. The fear the child has is conveyed by the idea of darkness covering.
The child doesn’t sleep because she is afraid. Instead, she stays awake and sits on the floor in the corner of her room (sitting between the two walls). She is sitting in her pajamas, with her knees up, her arms around her legs, and her head down.
In her fear, the child is waiting to hear the noise of her mother opening the front door (waiting for the noise). She has stayed up before and knows what the sound of the key turning the lock sounds like. She is anticipating the noise. She wants it to happen. When her mother comes home, she will feel comfort and be able to sleep.
The next two lines of the poem are about the mother. She works in a warehouse. There are rows and rows of shelves with bays. The bays are filled with boxes. The floor is concrete. The mom walks down the rows (walking down the concrete rows) loading things onto a cart to be sent somewhere else.
The mom’s job is demoralizing. It is dark, everything is gray and brown. There is a certain sound to the place. The job is tedious and monotonous. As the mom does her job, she just passes the time and turns her mind off (mind lost in all the boxes).
One interesting aspect of this poem, is the idea that it does not come to a conclusion. The poem shows the daughter sitting in her room afraid and the mother at work. In the poem, the mother is never showed coming home. The daughter’s fear is never relieved. This poem looks at a specific moment that recurs, but does not, in some sense, finish the moment.
Do you like poems with explanations?
M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!
To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog. Above is a poem with an explanation for the series. This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book. It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.