broke down

When the Machine
stops working,
you don’t know
any Earthly way
to fix it
and you think
it must have been
created by Aliens
or something,
you’re left
with your Mending
in your lap,
for the repair guy,
and a slow Unspooling
your fraying Heart.

Fireblossom gave the Real Toads a fun word list to work with today in the new feature, Get Listed!, including the words unspooling and fraying.


  1. "your fraying heart..." That was perfect.

  2. 'Unspooling' was my favourite word of the entire list, followed by 'fraying', and I love the way you have brought them in with such impact right at the end of your poem. I think you have described the state of the planet right now, down to the finest personal detail.

  3. so true about the way we live today, as we distance ourselves from ourselves we lose our way

  4. I think your choice of which words to use was a great success - a poem I can empathise with heartily, thinking of my recent computer wobbles, and worse, sewing machine misbehaviour.

  5. Oh, lord, I hate it when the machine stops working. Makes me want to scream!!

  6. Yes! "Your fraying heart!" Our Machines are mutinying in the basement - there is Water, and we cant figure out whether it's from the hot water tank or the washer - and, sadly, neither can the repairman/men. Sigh.

  7. Grrrr. . . but I like machinery better than digital technology . . . screwdrivers are my friends and sewing machines are life-savers. Nicely built poem, frayed edges and all. I hope the project was out of the way before the machine died!

  8. nice - you hit it hard with thtat final image

  9. I love this!!! A thoroughly unique way of using FB's list of words. (you can call me anytime, I'm pretty good with gadgets)

  10. Oh wow. This is great. Fantastic surprise ending. This is my favorite kind of poetry---short, smart, and snappy at the end.

  11. It seems we can become unwound with something that has no connextion to our tightly spooled insides. My stove is not working and it has been hot plates and toaster oven cooking here. Hopefully the repairman will be our angel tomorrow with all the right parts to fix it.

  12. I like the unspooling part, your fraying heart ~ and also the title ~

  13. Your use of capitalization here is adroit, and the metaphor works out like clockwork, with a perfect dreary clicking and a soul-wringing emphasis. I especially like the spaces you leave, allowing the reader to define just what is Machine and what is fraying the Heart, even which Heart, because 'your' seems wide open to the collective voice as well as the personal one. Excellent stuff, marian.

  14. I love that you used a real life instance and created such a deep piece from it by adding, as Hedge stated so well, the spaces and capitals! Well done woman...I enjoyed this!!

  15. I'm here to sew it back up....you have a way with the everday that makes me think that something as simple as drinking a glass of milk is new and exciting...pass the oreos please!

  16. "created by Aliens or something"...
    Oh, I know that feeling, Marian. Very well said.

  17. Yeah, Aliens...I so agree, lol! ;D
    I too love that you went with real life~

  18. The unspooling, and the "Wait!" for the fraying heart... very interesting, the aliens, too. I know a few personally, but I still stick with being an Earth Mama. Peace, Amy

  19. happy new year right back to you, all you lovely friends! xoxox