Box Your Shadow, Block the Sun — and Happy New Year!

Poetry Friday logo by Linda Mitchell

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

I hope you had a beautiful Christmas/Hanukkah/winter celebration! I’ll share a few pics from mine next week :>)

So, this month, our Poetry Princess challenge was the box. I don’t remember who suggested this, but we decided we could use a poetic form suggested by a box or write about boxes or whatever we wanted.

I did some freewriting on this while I was at a concert. My notes went in two directions: compartmentalizing our lives so that we’re someone at home, someone at work, someone socially–all different people; and boxing up trauma or loss or memories too painful to think about. I could relate to the first one much more than the second, and yet I ended up writing about the second! Poetic license. I shared my initial freewriting and my thoughts as I wrote my first and second drafts in my Writer in Progress Facebook Group for my Patrons. I love talking writing process, especially poetry process, there.


Box Your Shadow, Block the Sun

I boxed up my shadows.

Like raucous crows

they beat their wings


against the box,

and it tumbled along after me

like the boxes of childhood—


an A+ on a division test

and a purple lanyard from Camp Wewa—

that I’ve moved from home to home


as I’ve roamed through the years.

The boxes I’ve never opened,

but never abandoned.


I dream of cube-shaped holes

dotting my soul

and grab my scissors.


I fling open the flaps

and flatten that cardboard like it’s

Recycling Eve.


Crows erupt,

raucous and loud,

and crowd the sky.


They have not grown tame

nor faded to soft grey.

Their battered black wings


still shimmer with anger.

When they fly (never too far),

their black shapes bomb the sky.


The crows will never be beautiful,

but against their battered wings,

the sky turns impossibly blue.


–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved


Make sure to check out what my incredibly talented Poetry Sisters have come up with this month!

Mary Lee



Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

And the Poetry Friday Roundup is with the funny and lovely Patricia Franz this week. I hope you can visit and soak up lots of poetry goodness as the old year turns to the new. I’m wishing you all a fabulous 2023 filled with poems and community–both of which you can get a huge dose of every week with Poetry Friday!

[Edited to add: PS Some folks are having trouble commenting and are getting a “Denied for too many attempts” message. If that happens to you, I’m sorry! My site really needs to be rebuilt on a different platform. Sigh. Anyway, thanks for the thought, and don’t worry about continuing to try to comment. I’ve never had this particular issue before! Happy New Year to you!]




4 Responses

  1. Laura, I am trying to add another comment and hope you receive it. Your poem is a sensitive one. I love these lines: and it tumbled along after me/like the boxes of childhood—May you find boxes of joy coming your way in 2023.

  2. Your metaphor is perfect and the language in this poem is so potent. “their black shapes bomb the sky” is fabulous and that impossibly blue sky is a wonderful ending.

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