Tearing Up a Box

Photograph by Jose Padua
Sometimes when I’m tearing up
a box I’ll remember how my father
used to do the same—collapse it
so it was flat, then rip it in half,
then quarters, and so on until it fit
easily in the trash without threatening
to burst through the side of the bag.
Sometimes he’d tear one up before
we were done with it—a box for a gift
we’d have to exchange or take back
to the store because it didn’t fit or
didn’t work. Sometimes when I take
the trash out at night into the quiet street,
drag the bin to the curb, then carry out
the bundled newspapers and broken down
boxes, I consider these little tasks,
and those minutes I’ve lost then found
spent organizing small things.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua


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