Oil In A Can of Kickstart

A poem from my last summer working in retail

Here I am, once again bringing you something from the archives of my poetry project during my last summer working at TJ Maxx.

For the full context of this set of poems, shared in honor of National Poetry Month, check out the intro post, here:

Oil In A Can of Kickstart

Muttering to a rack full of clothes,
I’ll say “You belong on a feature,”
Or “Finally, more women’s plus!”

Being in charge forces investment,
Creates camaraderie with clothes.
But it takes something, too.
A steady leak in my patience,
Like the slow drain of freon
From my rusty Honda Accord.

At 22, I begin to feel a little rusted, too.
A soft, playful tiredness settles in my shins,
In the balls and heels of my feet.
A catch I try to massage out with yoga,
Only to find another place of stiffness,
Into which I’m instructed to “breathe.”

But each morning, I wake renewed.
I may need oil in a can of Kickstart,
And a steady intake of calories,
But somehow, I manage to start,
Remind myself as I turn the key in the first
Car I’ve ever owned that I’m young.

Pittsburgh-based writer & wearer of many metaphorical hats. Making words about self, health, books, travel, and more! She/her.

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