Inside Self-Storage

Gilbert Allen


            “People come to us during different events in their lives.”

                 - Stephen Benson, President, Morningstar Mini-Storage                         

Say you’ve been told
sorry, corporate downsizing
is nothing personal.
Say your double-aught Infiniti
just killed somebody
whose blood you don’t want
to wash off the bumper
for sentimental reasons.
Say there’s a little blow
behind the horn.
Say your son has just taken
up the trumpet, vowing
to practice twelve hours a night
forever.  Say you might have been caught
between a big house
and the big house.
Say, while you’re staring
at your hand in a motel
or in solitary
at 3:30 A.M. on Thanksgiving,
you just want to know
everything inside your real life
is still secure.


Gilbert Allen teaches at Furman University.  His sequence of poems,  The Assistant, received the 2007 Robert Penn Warren Prize.  A long poem, “The World of Tomorrow,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Southern Review. Other new poems have appeared in Appalachian Journal, Measure, Sewanee Theological Review, Shenandoah, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.