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Cardboard Box

You only see the outside of the box,
        the plain brown cardboard,
        the corners slightly fuzzy from constantly opening and closing it
It got torn a bit on accident,
          so we had to tape it up a little, otherwise,
                  it's pretty unmarked,
except for that recycle sign on the bottom flap there.

I mean, what else is there to know about a box?
        It's got four sides, lots of masking tape to keep its insides from spilling out
                  An address scrawled in black ink upon it's face
                  To help you remember what it's for

You only see the outside of the box,
        yet you say you know what's in there.

The people of the world are like that,
        they see a plain brown cardboard box out there and ignore it,
        not caring to see what's inside,
                  because, after all, what's it to them?
A box is a box, right? As long as it's in it's proper place, well, there won't be any problems
A few of the more anal retentive types, well
        they'll go up to it right away and label it
        a sticker here, a sticker there,
                  on the off-chance that it should fall out of it's proper place,
                  someone will know where exactly to put it back

A few braver souls will walk right up to the box,
        poke and prod it a couple of times
        maybe even shake it to see what kind of sound it makes
then decide right away what's inside,
        never caring to truly find out.
Because all they really needed was some reassurance, some sign
        that things were right with the universe,
        as long as a cardboard box stayed a cardboard box
                  and nothing more, with no surprises

And then psychology and science and other occult practices
        will use their instruments, theorems, and chants
                  calculate all sorts of data and statistics
        come up with a
        paradigm for the behavior of cardboard boxes
or a seventeen dimensional wave equation that doesn't really have any answers anyway
        maybe even a correlation with Mars of Aquarius
                  and decide that they have in fact
        found the nature of the Id, or Schroedinger's cat
                  or God Himself.
And then they'll put the box back in it's proper place
        leave it there to do whatever they think it's supposed to do,
        and adjust it a bit whenever it doesn't follow the standard curve
But of course they won't think about looking inside at all.

So, of course I'm asking you, will you look inside?
        Past the frayed, tattered edges,
        miles of masking tape adhering to the flaps
Ignore the labels stuck onto its sides
        cut open the tape, be brave and look,
                  though your universe might fall into disorder
        be brave and look
                  and discover
that the world isn't really as simple as the people of the world want it to be.

©1995 by Victor Ganata