Poem of the Week, by Kirsten Dierking

My poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

Last week a writer friend and I hiked through the woods and talked about how in middle age you realize that some things won’t happen. You’ve run out of time to be an Olympic athlete, to have a sixty-year marriage, to sail around the world on a boat you built yourself.

We talked about how mystifying it is to realize that some things you thought you wanted were precluded from the start by circumstances, or by your own personality. Because you were frantically busy trying to earn a living, or raise your children, or hold yourself together. Because in truth you crave solitude, time to make art.

We talked about our books, and how often we feel like failures. Then we ordered more cocktails and ate cake and laughed. I feel so lucky to have friends like him, and to live this odd life of mine, so full of failure and love in equal measure.

Lucky, by Kirsten Dierking

All this time,
the life you were
supposed to live
has been rising around you
like the walls of a house
designed with warm
harmonious lines.

As if you had actually
planned it that way.

As if you had
stacked up bricks
at random,
and built by mistake
a lucky star.

For more information about Kirsten Dierking, please click here.



  1. William Boden · May 15, 2021

    I love this poem and your lead into it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. alisonmcghee · May 18, 2021

    Thank you, Bill. I’m so glad it spoke to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vivienne Frankish · June 8, 2021

    Hello Alison, I keep coming back to this poem that you generously shared, and to your own words accompanying it. I am so reassured by this poem and what you have written, perhaps especially by your own words. I wanted to say that they have moved me to my core. During these challenging times, I find I can too easily slip into feeling abandoned, despite all the riches and privileges of my personal life, and when that happens I need to attend to not abandoning myself. Your post and this poem are a true resource, and I keep returning to them. Thank you, Vivienne Frankish

    Liked by 2 people

    • alisonmcghee · June 8, 2021

      What a beautiful comment, Vivienne. I’m so glad the poem and post are a help in these strange and painful times. XO

      Liked by 1 person

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