Poetic Justice

My senior year in high school, in my Literature class, we had a unit on poetry. We had to write a bunch of poems to be turned in, at the end of the unit, in a unique and creative way (i.e., not stapled together in a report cover). I think some of my classmates wrote all their poems on a T-shirt, or made a paper bouquet out of them (I don’t know, I’m making stuff up) or stapled them together in a report cover—but, like, a neon pink one.

I elected to be creative and make a bold statement about poetry in the process: I scribbled my poems on scraps of paper and tossed them—along with some empty Gatorade bottles and candy wrappers—into an $8 wastebasket from Walmart, which I proudly handed to my teacher. It was probably the most poetic portfolio of the bunch.

The following day in fourth period I received a panicked note from my Lit. teacher. As it turned out, the previous evening the janitor, doing his job, had emptied all of the classroom’s trash cans—including my creative poetry portfolio.

It was definitely the most poetic of the bunch.