Last semester I took Fiction II with Rachel Hall. The class after Trump was elected, Hall gave us this poem which continues to resonate with me:
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.
While this piece outlines a lot of hardships, it ends with a “bright side.” What do you make of this? I think this is an important piece concerning our current political climate.
I don’t want to say too much because I think theses words should be absorbed.
Do you use your words to “make this place beautiful”? I certainly think that is something I am trying to do when I write.