Good Bones

I thought of this poem, which I read once upon a time who knows how long ago and had to go questing for again in a ridiculous internet search (thanks Poetry Foundation!) because it seems right in line both with what I wrote last and also with how it’s hard not to feel sometimes with elections.

So, here it is, in case maybe you need it too:

Good Bones (By Maggie Smith)

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.


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