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Hard Lines Poem

Image result for standing in line

We sometimes can't avoid lines. Often, we resent having to stand in line and wait for extended periods of time. Waiting, waiting, waiting...
Lines are a fact of life however. Maybe, we should put the time we spend waiting in line to more productive use. Hhm?

Recently, as I stood in line at my local bank with at least twelve people ahead of me, I began to think how I could 'make' a poem based on my line experience. 

In my mind I took myself to a different time and place. A place in a queue a long way from the bank. I began to rehearse my words. I could feel a poem forming in my head. It helped me pass the waiting time. Poetry can happen anywhere, anytime. We just have to be ready to receive the words that come floating in our direction.

So now it's time for me to put it all on the line...

Hard Lines

I stand in line
A line stretching forever
A line for which I have no time
A line for which I have no mind
Not even a line in the sand
Not the line of least resistance
Not a fine line
This line that moves with no urgency
A line so lacking in movement
-A snail would grow impatient

I stand in line
The summer sun bites my back
I'm on the hotline
The firing line
And the smallest shuffle excites me
A line longer than a thousand snakes
Stretching out of sight
Beyond the blue horizon
A line capable of joining day to night
A line so long, I want to say-so long
And as I stand in this endless line
-A thought, most disturbing comes rushing at me...

Will there be any ice-creams left
When, finally I reach the head of the queue?
That's the bottom line.

Alan j Wright

Image result for standing in line


  1. You really brought all the lines about a line into this poem. Haha. We do have so many things we say about a line. I've been in a line just like the one you describe. I often switch lines and then the line I was in previously begins to move much faster. Oh, lines.

    1. We might finally be able to draw a line under lines Cathy. 'Lines' have certainly featured strongly in idiomatic language. Thanks for adding some of your lines here.

  2. I like that "bottom line", seeing that you have your priorities straight, in line! I love that poetic line about the snail, will remember that feeling. Recently, Denver lines became sleepovers, in a line of sleeping bags to get tickets for Hamilton!

    1. Ah Linda, you know lines most intimately. I've never sleeping bagged in a line, I must admit. That's a big commitment. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. So much fun wordplay here! But my favorite line (hehe) is: A line capable of joining day to night

    1. Wordplay is such fun. Glad you liked that line Laura. I smiled when writing it.

  4. "A line longer than a thousand snakes" This is how I feel in line at Walmart. You've inspired me to put that time to good use thinking about and writing new poems :)

    1. I tried to imagine a line from a child's perspective, hence the snake reference Kimberly. Hope your future line time proves productive.

  5. Who knew standing in line could be so much fun? Ha! I love how you made the most of it and came up with this fun poem!

    1. Thanks Kay. As you said, time in line can be fun if we work at putting it to some productive use. Glad you liked the poem that emerged.

  6. That's a fun poem Allan, I like the surprise ending–delicious–hope you were able to wait it out "in line," thanks!

    1. Thanks Michelle. Glad you enjoyed the fun aspect of my poem. Ice-creams are always worth the wait, don't you think?


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