Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Twenty-nine
Summer 2012
Harriet Carter, Distinctive Gifts Since 1958
Jane Sellman

Harriet Carter, I’ve spent many happy hours looking through the colors of your catalogue.

I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on your distinctive gifts. You’ve sent me so much in return.

      The Pooch Polo Shirt (Rose, Medium) for my dog, Winston.

      The Plaid Slippers That Mop, which I wear every morning in my kitchen.

The Bathroom Cabinet Super-Organizer, which currently holds

Scott Bathroom Tissue (three rolls), Dove Moisturizing Shampoo, towels, face clothes, and a Deluxe
Beautiful Back Scrubber™.

Harriet Carter,

you have dispensed distinctive gifts since 1958: the Mighty Putty™—“Lets You Fix, Fill & Seal
Virtually Anything”; the Pet Screen Door—“Lets Your Pet In and Out Anytime”; the Toe “Stretchers”
—“Give You Stronger Feet in Just Ten Days.”

Harriet Carter, because of you, I have “stacked, stored, and safely transported” deviled eggs

added “five inches to the waistband” of my best blue skirt

used “that wasted space atop” the television

heard the “faintest whisper with new clarity.”

Harriet Carter, Oh, Harriet Carter

Thank you for the purification of the air in my house and for the automatic irrigation of my plants and for keeping my food fresh for longer than scientists will admit possible and for supporting my sagging breasts and protecting my arthritic knees and for such technological wonders as the Automatic Birdbath, the Birdbath Protector, the Toothpaste Tube Squeezer, and the Three-Section Microwave Plates, which come in sets of four, each plate a different color.

Harriet Carter, to you, I sing all praise and hosanna.

My house is a monument to you. Nothing is ever thrown away or exiled to the hall closet.

Except for the Vidalia Chop Wizard™—“The Cook’s Best Friend.”

                Which chopped boiled eggs, onions (both Vidalia and other varieties),

                carrots, sharp cheddar cheese, and mushrooms

                Which broke while I sliced pepperoni on New Year’s Eve

                Which I gently put in the trash on New Year’s Day

Harriet Carter, please forgive my one transgression.

About Jane Sellman

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