William H. Matchett



                        Boxing the VW


The carton was just right.
An exact fit. That was the trouble.
You could lose a finger easing it in.

The six of us could lift it--
so that was right too.
But not over our heads.
And the damn flaps in our faces.

And supposing we could get it up there
and the flaps down,
who would shove the box in under?

Or suppose we held it up,
shuffled crabways,
ignored the flaps,
how could we get it down again?
It's not like squatting,
setting it down over high walls.
And you can't just let go.

"Maybe the five of you could hand it in to Sherman."

Fine. Just fine. And what would Sherman do?
He'd be under it, not in it.
Not very cosy.
Even if we slipped him a thermos,
a double ham on rye.
Besides, they're expecting the car,
not the car and Sherman.

"Look, it's easy! Put the box on its side.
Drive the car in. Did you think of that?"

"You. You and your logical mind.
Of course I thought of it.
But I didn't stop there.
Did you ever think what would happen next?
This side up. The box turned back.
Clear across the country, the car on its side,
snapping off rearviews, springing the frame.
What good's a car you can't open the doors?"

"Jack it up, front and back, take out the staple . . .
From the box, stupid.
Lower it, tubelike, over the car.
Fold back the bottom. Staple it again.
All you got to do is lift off the jacks,
Up that way there'll be room for your fingers."

Which is what we did.

And there was.


William Matchett, Airplants: Selected Poems, Antrim House,
2013.