Aluminum {April Fool’s Edit}, “Periodic Table of Poetry” bonus poem from Chicago poet Janet Kuypers

Aluminum {April Fool’s Edit}

Janet Kuypers

bonus poem from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#013, Al) – 4/1/13

On our wedding anniversary,
I try to remember
annual anniversary gifts:
we’ve passed wood, copper, iron,
and are just passing tin, steel,
and aluminum now.
What on Earth do I buy
for a gift that’s aluminum?
And how does Aluminum
represent a marriage?

Oh, I suppose
the pliability of aluminum
shows how our marriage
needs to be flexible
and durable, and like
aluminum, which can be bent
without being broken,
we have to learn to bend
to each other’s wills
so that we can be
stronger when we’re together.
And we are.

So, because of Aluminum’s
durability and pliability,
we see aluminum used a lot
because it mixes well
with others.

But in the body
it competes with calcium
for absorption, so it might
even lead to Osteoporosis…

So I guess that rules out
Aluminum cookware
for our anniversary…

This is really getting on my nerves,
trying to come up
with an Aluminum gift —
I better make sure my antacids
don’t contain Aluminum,
‘cause although it’s not good for my insides,
it’s used in so many other things
around us…

In the meantime,
I’m going to
grab some leftovers
from the fridge,
get it out of the
aluminum foil
and eat while I brainstorm
what his anniversary
present should be.

But wait,
maybe a picture frame would be good,
because if WE work well together,
an Aluminum frame
would be a different way
to hold us together, too.

Tin, a Periodic Table poem by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers


Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#050, Sn)
(sung to a beat)

If I only had a brain

if I only had a brain

I’d get out from under
this bent tin roof
that covers me
as I sleep at night

tin metal sheets
keep the rain away
but the wind

but the wind

if I only had a brain

I wouldn’t use
my old tin cup
to stand and face east
at Canal and Randolph
and ask for change

I wait for commuters
to cross the Chicago river
to get to their train

you see, I wait
at the other side
and the ones with the money
have to walk right by

that’s when I rattle
my old tin cup
give them doe eyes
say “God bless”

but if I only had a brain
I wouldn’t rattle
my tin cup
and ask for tin change
I’d get myself up

if I only had a brain

I’d have a lot of money
I’d eat at fancy restaurants
I’d wear the plastic bib

if I only had a brain
I wouldn’t be poor
tin cans of Fanta
soup from a tin can
on Tin pan alley

if I only had a brain

you might bend me
but I just won’t break
‘cause if I had a brain
then I’d be great