“What Has It Got in Its Pocketses?”

“What Has It Got in Its Pocketses?”

Pockets have always fascinated me. My parents have always loved to tell a story about how when I was about Bella’s age I would say to them, “I have a secret,” and then whisper in their ears, “Pockets.” I was delighted the first time I read the Hobbit to find that a pocket and its contents played a key role in Bilbo’s riddle game.

Also, I think the catalog is one of the greatest forms of poem. Homer uses it to marvelous effect in The Iliad with glorious the catalog of ships. Thus one of my favorite scenes in all of literature is the catalog Mark Twain gives us of the contents of Tom Sawyer’s pockets.

And so in that spirit, I offer a list of the contents of my jacket pockets as a sort of impromptu poem and sketch of my days as a stay-at home mother and housekeeper. (This is my everyday ‘round the house gray hooded zip-up jacket that I put on as soon as it is cool enough in the fall and will keep on until late spring or early summer and will feel bereft of most of the summer as in general my skirts do not have pockets.)

In my right-hand pocket:

  • My iPod Touch
  • Two AAA batteries I collected off the dining room floor when I was sweeping this morning.
  • A one dollar bill I found on my dresser last night
  • A tissue
  • A folded paper with last week’s menu plan roughed out on it in pencil (written on the back of a notice from our paper delivery guy that he is returning to Brazil after Christmas).

In my left-hand pocket:

  • Two socks I confiscated from Sophia just before nap. She insisted that I put them on her feet. They were too small and kept falling off; but she kept insisting. Finally I tired of the game of continually putting them back on and I shoved them in my pocket and put a different pair on her feet. Ones that fit.
  • Half of a purple crayon. Removed from the dining room floor when I swept this morning.
  • A tube of chapstick. Obviously for chapped lips. The girls’ lips are terrible just now and I try to apply it liberally whenever I can.
  • A tube of lanolin. Also for chapped lips. Put in the pocket when I couldn’t find the chapstick.
  • A green butterfly barrette and a blue butterfly barrette. Probably picked up when I was cleaning. Sophie always asks for barrettes and then removes them after no great length of time and abandons them all over the house.

My phone is not in either pocket. It must have fallen out again.

Maybe next week I’ll inventory the contents of my coat pockets. That will be crazy fun.

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.