Bottles on the Shelf

November 28, 2017
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I pop off the top of my head like the lid to a cookie jar,

The secret place where I keep all my happiness.
Little rays of sunshine, all crowded together.
Clustering, moving, around and around like a litter of kittens.
I reach inside and pluck one out.
It’s warm and soft,
Summer days and cozy campfires all in one.
But there’s no time to waste!
I put it in a bottle to keep it safe.
And I put the bottle on the shelf,
glistening among the row of other glass bottles.
Happy thoughts, happy feelings, happy memories,
all in bottles, all in a row.

My bright collection makes me many friends.
Each bottle a starlight to make my amends.
Sometimes when my friend feels a certain way,
Down comes a bottle to save the day.

Night after night,
Day after day,
More memories, more dreams.
Friend after friend,
Time after time,
more bottles lost, more bottles made.
Deeper and deeper my fingers reach,
Exploring a forgotten cave, finding the alluring secrets,
hiding in the darkened corners.
Digging and scraping,
Scraping and digging.

I blow the layer of dust off my bottle caps.
It doesn’t feel like time has passed.
My empty shelves could use some more.
My friends look through my locked front door.

Finally, all done. I open up and in come my friends.
Flooding in the house, like leaves in a wind.
They flock to the shelves, calling to me.
I frantically pull the bottles off the shelf.
One after another,
and another, and another.
Holding them out to each and every friend,
Each and every bottle.
But every time I release the bottles, they shatter between my feet,
Falling, falling,
Happy thoughts, happy feelings, happy memories, reduced to scattered shards.
They were meant for them, my friends who are no longer smiling.
They’re all shouting, pleading, begging.
But all I hear is an echo, echo, echo...

Deep inside my head.

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