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Bored Analysis

Author: Poetry of Margaret Atwood Type: Poetry Views: 1018

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All those times I was bored

out of my mind. Holding the log

while he sawed it. Holding

the string while he measured, boards,

distances between things, or pounded

stakes into the ground for rows and rows

of lettuces and beets, which I then (bored)

weeded. Or sat in the back

of the car, or sat still in boats,

sat, sat, while at the prow, stern, wheel

he drove, steered, paddled. It

wasn't even boredom, it was looking,

looking hard and up close at the small

details. Myopia. The worn gunwales,

the intricate twill of the seat

cover. The acid crumbs of loam, the granular

pink rock, its igneous veins, the sea-fans

of dry moss, the blackish and then the graying

bristles on the back of his neck.

Sometimes he would whistle, sometimes

I would. The boring rhythm of doing

things over and over, carrying

the wood, drying

the dishes. Such minutiae. It's what

the animals spend most of their time at,

ferrying the sand, grain by grain, from their tunnels,

shuffling the leaves in their burrows. He pointed

such things out, and I would look

at the whorled texture of his square finger, earth under

the nail. Why do I remember it as sunnier

all the time then, although it more often

rained, and more birdsong?

I could hardly wait to get

the hell out of there to

anywhere else. Perhaps though

boredom is happier. It is for dogs or

groundhogs. Now I wouldn't be bored.

Now I would know too much.

Now I would know.


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