It’s the first Friday of the month, so it’s time for another Sunday Night Swaggers challenge. This month, Molly Hogan challenged us to “find beauty in the ugly” by reinventing “the world around you (or one aspect of it) by shifting your lens to see the beauty in what at first seems to be ugly or unnoteworthy.”
I had a few ideas, but hadn’t gotten far with any of them before I went to NCTE in Baltimore a few weeks ago. There, I attended Georgia Heard, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Ralph Fletcher, and Lester Laminack‘s session, “Seeing the World Like a Poet.” During her part of the presentation, Georgia explained that the job of the poet is to take “the film of ordinary off of everyday objects.”
These words were in my mind the next morning while I was waiting in line to check my coat. My eyes were drawn to a building across the street that was glowing in the bright morning sun. Then, as I turned to give my coat to the attendant, I noticed this:
At first glance, this jumble of hangars is decidedly everyday and unnoteworthy. But take a closer look…
A Wedge of Hangers
Like pinioned swans,
captives on a pond,
a wedge of hangers
wait, silent and still.
Soon each will rise,
basking in the embrace
of coats, grateful
for the support
of their plastic wings.
© Catherine Flynn, 2019
During the same session, Ralph Fletcher shared that “photography uncovers surprises” and that we should “follow where they lead.” As I was writing this poem, I was surprised to learn that a wedge is in fact a collective noun for swans. So even though these hangers aren’t exactly wedge-shaped, I think wedge is the perfect word to describe a group of hangers.
Please be sure to visit my fellow swaggers to see where they found beauty this month:
Then be sure to visit Tanita at fiction, instead of lies for the Poetry Friday Roundup.