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Inside Story
Gilbert Allen


He needed it
so he got it.
It said Made In America.
He said That's Nice.
After he took it
out of the bag
he liked it so much
he got some more.
But what he didn't need
were the bags
from what he needed
so he stuffed them
into one bag bag
which he needed
to hold all the other bags
that he really didn't need.
Then he got more
of what he really needed
and put all the bags
he didn't need into the bag bags
he did.

One day he noticed
all of these bag bags
(full of bags
he didn't need)
so he got this bag bag bag
that he needed to hold
the bag bags he once needed
(but didn't need
anymore) that held the bags
he'd never needed
except to hold what
he needed, which
he'll show you
in a second, whenever
he finds it, because
this is the inside story.

From Commandments at Eleven (Orchises Press, 1994).
Used here with permission.


Gilbert Allen lives in Traveleres Rest, South Carolina with his wife, Barbara, an educator and environmental activist. He enjoy gardening, poetry readings, and visiting with family and friends. Gil's most recent books are Believing in Two Bodies (poems) and The Beasts of Belladonna (short stories). Read a recent interview with him here, and learn more about him at






Post New Comment:
Laughing so hard I'm crying. At least regular bags can be recycled, but you need to separate from film wrap and I can't always tell which is which. The worst are pet food bags, stiff and shiny. No one seems to want them. But look at the terrific poem that came from all this!
Posted 11/16/2022 05:07 PM
Lori Levy:
Funny! Great poem!
Posted 11/15/2022 01:08 PM
Leslie Hodge:
So funny!
Posted 11/15/2022 12:23 PM
Very clever...and true, for a lot of people!!!
Posted 11/15/2022 10:26 AM
Posted 11/15/2022 10:00 AM
Oh, I can relate to the poem, and yesterday had to look for the size bag I needed which was under larger bags that I thought I might need to hold the bags of the size that I usually use. It was frustrating couple of minutes, but then aha! LOL
Posted 11/15/2022 09:49 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I loved this clever wise laugh out loud poem. I liked the repetition of "bag bag" and the speaker's need to explain what he needed and didn't need and the ending that he'll show you if he can find it.
Posted 11/15/2022 09:26 AM
Still laughing at something so true, Gil, so big in our lives. What are we to do with all the accumulated "stuff"? Let's "bag it"!
Posted 11/15/2022 09:19 AM
Larry Schug:
Do I need it or do I not--that is the question. I just wish there weren't so many needs at so many levels. "The "inside Story" is a very good title for this poem and the last line is a beauty.
Posted 11/15/2022 07:41 AM
What a giggle this morning! I just wish it wasn't true, LOL.
Posted 11/15/2022 06:44 AM

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