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Honorable Mention – 2021 Poetry Contest

There’s something to be said
about standing on the center line
of a bustling four-lane road,
cars skimming by in front and behind me
as I watch my stainless steel thermos
bumble along toward the opposite curb
like a rolling pin or pipe bomb.
I admire its resilience—
ten years of service,
three times forgotten, then dropped
off the car roof.
Today it balanced for five or six blocks
before taking the dive, striking the road
with a loud enough ping
for me to pull over,
prepare for the worst.

And now I’m in the middle of the road,
not, as I should be, prioritizing my life
over a full thermos of coffee,
but rather urging the thermos on
as it cleverly avoids commuters’ tires.
When it bumps up against the far curb,
I give a small fist pump.
I also wave at the good people in the cars
who have kindly stopped,
let the crazy old guy run across
to retrieve his prize thermos,
still full of coffee,
which he will drink later at his desk.

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Guy Thorvaldsen’s poetry has appeared in various publications, including Alligator Juniper, Poet Lore, and Verse Wisconsin. His first book of poetry, Going to Miss Myself When I’m Gone, was published in 2017 by Aldrich Press.

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