The Life Cycle of Styrofoam

Melanie Griffin

The life cycle of Styrofoam is man-made.

There's a cup shellacked to a desk
With coffee from 1973.
It's been chipped at
joked about
outlasted twelve middle managers
until it's become an institution
introduced to new hires
as the place to go
when they have questions.

There's a takeout box
That lives in a college dorm
as part of the dinner china.
It started life holding French fries
proved itself through repeated drunken handwashings
and graduated to housing leftovers
from Mom.
I still have a chunk
Of what we brought to the river
Of what held the first lunch
We ever ate together.

I take it
intact long after we crumble
and dismantle it with my fingers
throw the pieces at ducks
Who use their beaks to push it along its way.


About the Author

Melanie Griffin lives and writes in Columbia, South Carolina. For her day job, she works in HR at her favorite public library. Her poems have been published in Eunoia Review, Exercise Bowler, Lowestoft Chronicle, the Charlotte Viewpoint, and the local anthology A Sense of the Midlands.