My poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here.
The other day I passed a tall chemo-bald man in a fur hat despite the warm day. They cut the bad parts out and now I’m good to go, he told the UPS driver. I smiled at him and he waved, full of cheer.
The broken world is a phrase I see everywhere these days. Yeah, it’s broken, and yeah, wild worry about the future keeps me from sleep. But haven’t all our hearts been broken, over and over, and don’t most of us just want to keep going? Want to haul ourselves up from a fall, from surgery, from depression, from everything that gets thrown at us, so that we can keep on living? There’s something so beautiful about that.
Whatever Else, by Jim Moore
Whatever else, the little smile on the face of the woman
listening to a music the rest of us can’t hear and a sky at dawn
with a moon all its own. Whatever else, the construction crane
high above us waiting to be told how to do our bidding,
we who bid and bid and bid. Whatever else, the way cook #1
looks with such longing at cook #2. Let’s not be too sad
about how sad we are. I know about the disappearance
of the river dolphins, the sea turtles with tumors.
I know about the way the dead
don’t return no matter how long they take to die
in the back of the police car. I know about the thousand ways our world
betrays itself. Whatever else, my friend, spreading wide his arms,
looks out at the river and says,
“After all, what choice did I have?” After all,
I saw the man walking who’d had the stroke, saw the woman
whose body won’t stop shaking. I saw the frog in the tall grass,
boldly telling us who truly matters. I saw the world
proclaim itself an unlit vesper candle while a crow
flew into the tip of it, sleek black match, burning.