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By Daniel W. Shegrud


Ding dong

The doorbell

A parcel on the porch

A package, a packet, a box

Retrieved, transported, it sits on the table

Unwrapped, exposed, the bare box makes its claim

“Beautiful”, it says, “Beautiful in a Box”

Beautiful? In a box? Is it possible?

Can it be so?

Can beautiful be boxed? Contained? Constrained?

Conformed to the crate that holds it,

To the six sides that surround it?

A curious conundrum

Seal broken, box opened, four flaps folded back

User guide on top, demanding to be read

“Beautiful simplified, defined, refined,

All excess trimmed away

No fuzz, no dross, no padding,

Only Beautiful purified”

Packing peanuts, bubble wrap, styrofoam hit the floor

Beautiful, beneath it all, awaits

Hefted, hoisted, lifted, free, exposed to light, it challenges,

“Examine me!”

Looking, peering, gazing, searching

Top to bottom, back to front, side to side



No color, no hue, no tint, no shade,

Nothing to distract the eye

No angle, no curve, no bulge, no wrinkle,

Nothing to offset the balance

Neither heavy nor light, neither large nor small

Nothing to over-awe or underwhelm

No experience, no relationship, no confusion, no pain

Neither joy nor sorrow nor heartbreak nor triumph

Is there truth to be found?

Is there substance within?

Can form be allowed to trump meaning?

Can it possibly serve a purpose?

Can it calm a troubled mind or soothe a broken heart?

Can it speak, soul to soul?

Where is the aching, the longing, the pining?

What gives it a narrative?

Who tells of the testing, the struggle, the victory?

What hope can be given,

What courage bestowed,

What knowledge conveyed

From a beautiful void of all reality?

No dross, no fluff, no baggage,

No bulge, no wrinkle, no curve,

No color, no tint, no hue,

Nothing that speaks of character or brags of sacrifice,

That cries for empathy or pleads for mercy

Nothing that gives it a point

Or justifies the labor of creation

It evokes no amazement or wonder,

No scrutiny or caricature

It is worthy of nothing more sacred than pity,

Supplanted by apathy,

On its way to obscurity

Beautiful simplified, defined and refined

Is no beautiful at all

Replaced, repacked, four flaps folded and sealed

Beautiful in a Box is laid to rest with the other trash

And I turn my eyes to life, to love, to family, to friends

To seek Beautiful where Beautiful exists

Without boundaries,

Without restrictions,

Without limits

I seek true Beautiful

I seek Beautiful...


Copyright Daniel W. Shegrud 2013, All Rights Reserved

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