Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1880101-Shredding-Checks
by Harry
Rated: E · Poetry · Experience · #1880101
A long free-verse poem about my reflections while shredding old checks.
Today I finally threw away
a foot-high accumulation
of years-old bank statements
with each month’s cancelled checks
from the back of my desk drawer
reserved for storing them.
Actually, I shredded the checks
before discarding them –
for security reasons, you know.

As I fed one old check
after another into the shredder,
I reflected upon how each
check had once played its
part in helping to shred
my finances for that month.

These checks recounted
the passing of my life
month after month
and year after year.
They told the tale
of how my life was spent
during each of those years.

Drop by drop by drop
-- with an occasional flooding --
they depleted my checking
account each and every month:
payment for food and drink,
for electricity to keep us
cool in summer and to light our way,
for gas to make us warm in winter,
for water for cooking, bathing,
and laundering our clothes,
for the TV and Internet cable,
and for the phone to connect
with the outside world.

Then there were those
occasional checks that went
for the doctor and the dentist,
to service or repair the cars,
for birthday and Christmas presents,
for graduation of relatives
both known and unknown,
for flowers sent to the sick and dying,
for special events such as
expenses for yearly vacations
or for visiting Dad in Georgia
or seeing our four kids, who are
scattered over three states.
Oh, and for the numerous magazines
we subscribe to and sometimes
even get around to reading.

These old checks that fed
my shredder’s grinding hunger
also made me feel old,
reminding me of how times
have changed over the years.
My bank had changed names
three times, as one bank
gobbled up the other.
Today my bank no longer
includes the cancelled checks
themselves with the statement,
just reduced images of checks
filling two pages.
I have become old-fashioned
by continuing to write checks
to pay for everything.
My kids all use debit or
credit cards in place of checks.
I feel out of date.

Finally, as I entered check
after check into the shredder,
I thought about how expensive
it had been to get through
each of those past months.
It sure took a lot of checks
simply to live every month.

Please check out my ten books:
© Copyright 2012 Harry (harryg at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1880101-Shredding-Checks