Two more days until Christmas and the never ending torrent of customers is overwhelming
But I’m not afraid, no, I have my sister.
Strange people stumble in and ask for the most obscure things,
But all I do is smile victoriously and reply:
“Ask my sister” and I walk away.
“Five years ago there was a magazine that mentioned a strange man,
Who lived with penguins and then built a boat,
To sail the world and live free,
Yes to become a Messiah was his wish,
Until he died of constipation that is…”
“Ask my sister” I said and returned to the cash register.
I could mindlessly hit buttons according to prize – but to know anything about literature, I think not!
I smiled as some girls were looking my way, ready to accept whatever challenge they presented.
One walked up to me and said:
“Do you have the noble prize book from last year?”
“Ask my sister” I said, still smiling.
“Where is your sister?”
I looked around and shivered at the vista in front of me – “Where is my sister?”
On the floor, crouching, I found my sister. Her stomach was nearing oblivion.
Smiling with glee, she fled the front and left me alone.
The hours went by and I could still hear her laugh from the back as she emptied her insides.
But even once the water-splashing popping noise stopped she didn’t come back… She never did.
Finally I knew what it meant to be a family.
This poem was written when he were supposed to make a poem out of work experience. The truth is that I don not have a lot of work experience. I used to shred papers at a company called Hydraul Syd. But there is only so much paper you can shred and I finished my job quite quickly. Then there’s always the work experience I get from my father, whether it’s moving furniture, building furniture, offering computer support, mowing lawns, or killing weed. None of these jobs, however, led to any vivid memories I could write about. Then I remembered that I, every Christmas, help my sister in her bookstore. Even though I meet, and talk to, a lot of people I never had any strong memories from my time there. Except one.
One time, it was actually one of the busiest days ever, she was feeling ill and left me alone in her shop for hours. The customers, of course, had to ask me a lot of questions I could not answer and were just generally difficult. The queue crawled through more than half the store. By some miracle only one man left and I managed to attend everyone else until my sister finally got back.
The poem plays on this event through the use of hypoerbole. My sister did not smile with glee when she left – and she did return. In fact she felt very sorry for me and apologised. Yet it is quite intimidating, I think, how unspecific some customers are in their book requests. The man asking for a man “who lived with penguins”-book is a scenario that could very much happen. Even if there never was such a book.
Am I the only one who finds it strange that people can go to a store, wanting a specific book, without knowing the title or the author, and then play a guessing game with the employees about what that specific book is?
– F H Hakansson