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NaPoWriMo Poems by You #9: That 70's Shag Rug by Natalia Conte

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

That 70’s Shag Rug
After Erin Belieu

That 70’s shag rug lays on my bedroom floor in spite,
curling at the edges with disdain for its owner.
Hissing, whetting its electric green chops,
over my spilled spaghetti sauce.
Its tufts of tresses stick every which way,
vacuum never penetrating the unruly matted mane
to reach the gritty scalp.

I don’t know why we bother keeping it.
It smells of burnt campfire wood,
gasoline from a sunshine, 4-door van,
the inside of a TV struck by a stray lightning bolt.

It was the object of some colorful flowerchild’s affection,
the favorite rug of a graying, grimacing woman,
who pines and knits circles of thread
for days on end.
But my own mother opened her college acceptance letter right here,
bellbottoms churning like a tsunami when she jumped up,
brimming with bliss.

And never once did the previous owners notice
the oozing clumps of half-savored Hubba Bubba,
the blatantly obvious coffee stains in their cappuccino-colored glory,
that tear that runs from the outermost edge,
deep into its core.
Let me one day find some hideous thing I can cherish
the way they have cherished
that shoddy and scarred shag rug.  

By Natalia Conte, age 18