Keeping Crooked Things

Neglect a closet for a while, and an unfortunate sort of natural order begins to take effect. It starts with an atmosphere of acceptant convenience for a few worthy knickknacks. Before you know it, the shelves are straining under the weight of things you're "only putting here for a minute, really" - and bad things happen to innocent inanimates as a result.

Take, as no particular example beyond the hypothetical, an umbrella you bought on clearance forever ago that you've used maybe twice by generous estimates.

Though the working bits somehow survived closetgeddon*, the spine and handle came out of it somewhat marred. I had little reason to feel sentimental about it, beyond it being one of those things that "I've just had forever." Still, I felt a tad emotional over the idea of throwing it out, of ditching a perfectly functional tool for the offense of looking atypical.

At the time, I couldn't imagine why that might be. Now a few months have passed, and I think I may be onto myself. That, or I'm taking symbolism to super trite levels.**


Crooked Umbrella is a little bit bent.
A little bit broken.
A little bit spent.

Crooked Umbrella doesn’t open quite right.
Gets stuck here and there.
Wants to close herself tight.

She spent a long time in a corner, unused.
Her handle mismatched.
Askew and confused.

Her bones sometimes tremble, her cloth is threadbare.
She looks rather wrong.
But try not to stare.

For when she is open, she functions just fine.
She’ll fend off the storm.
She’ll still keep you dry.

She’s harder to hold. Broken things often are.
A test of your strength.
She’ll lean from your arms.

Most would have thrown the umbrella away.
She’s been through the rain.
She’s seen better days.

But somebody packs her away every night.
Carries her through the street.
Holds her upright.

Umbrella she is.
Just misunderstood.
So Crooked’s okay.
Broken’s still good.




*Really, it was just a few books falling into the wicker basket where the umbrella was stored. So dramatic.
**It's that one.