Good Bones

You may have noticed that I didn’t post a poem last week. I lost my grandfather quite suddenly and I’m having trouble dealing with that loss. I’ve found that walking around in nature helps. Writing does too. When I was looking for a poem to post this week, I came across this one, by the great Maggie Smith. My grandfather was an expert at selling the world: he made it such a beautiful place and he showed me that it really didn’t take a lot to do that. Just some kindness and being happy with the small things. So that’s what I’ll do. I’ll make this place beautiful. For myself and for him.

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

Maggie Smith

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