It wasn’t supposed to end like this—
It was supposed to be a civil nod of the head
A conciliatory, halfhearted hug
And promises that we won’t forget—
because we won’t—
and that, in the end, it would all be OK.
Well-wishes for the next leg of the journey
with wistful smiles
and mutual respect—
Acting like the good people we both are.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this,
When you woke up fifteen minutes early and sat down to a bowl of oatmeal and the morning paper,
noticed a chip in your favorite mug, and realized you liked it better that way
When traffic was slightly less horrible yesterday afternoon
and you saw a robin perched on the power line
When you got into bed with freshly-washed sheets,
and slept noiselessly, never getting too hot or too cold.When you laughed at the increasingly ridiculous tactics of telemarketers, and you told them how broke you were:
“Hello, is Robert there?”
“No, I think you have the wrong number”
“Oh, well maybe you can help me out; I’m calling from the fill-in-the-blank research foundation and we’re starting our annual drive…”
“I have zero monies”
When you finished all your reports and left work ten minutes early
When you listened to the silence of your still, unoccupied living room
and you found a popcorn kernel between the cushions.
When you decided that matching socks might be a good idea, and you matched them all.
When you smelled the potent, artificial meadow breeze of the fabric softener before you started that load.
When you sang along to classic disco hits on the way to your doctor’s appointment.
When you met your friend for coffee and struggled to find anything to talk about, so you both analyzed the complex body of your respective lattes.
When you took a walk around the block and waved hello to exactly three strangers.
When you watched a forty-minute eighth inning, accompanied by an cold coke.
When the ice on your windshield glinted in the morning light, and you remembered your gloves to scrape it all off.
When you finally called your sister and you took out the trash
When your parrot asked you earnestly, “Where Bu?”
And you watched her take a nap, before snoozing yourself.
Poetry is for the mentally ill
and those with an ailing heart—
It has long been used as a treatment,
a tincture of distilled experience and emotion
But treatment comes with risks:
just as much as it can be succor,
it can be an exascerbator
and the condition may worsen.
But fine poetry is a risk worth taking.