I’m a big fan of the concept of eventually. Eventually, I’ll get my craft room organized. Eventually, I’ll teach the girl to cook. Eventually, I’ll learn to keep up with my grading so I don’t have to read student papers until I’m nauseated and angry. Eventually I’ll weed the garden an fix that fence that wobbles and replace the screen door which blew off in a windstorm at least four years ago.

Just as I finished the above paragraph, a colleague brought a poem into my office, handed it to me, and walked out. I think the point I was trying to make has been trumped, and so I present the poem for you. Meanwhile, I’m going to think about how eventually, I’m going to clean my office.

A poem by Kate Green, from the book If the World is Running Out.

Don’t Make Your Life Too Beautiful

Don’t fix the three-foot hole in the plaster

over the stairway.

Don’t sweep up the tiny specks of white

that gather in dust like stars.

Leave the hole under the fence

the dog dug in the marigolds

that never flowered.

You can look for hours at the pile

of shingles your neighbor ripped off his roof

and left to mold the green summer

with plenty of dark underneath for the beetles

and the worms to damp in.

Leave the rocks imbedded in odd places in the lawn.

And the black locust you cut down year after year–

you can let it become a tree after all,

towering thorns over the lilies and the peonies.

Look out the cracked window–

that broccoli just kept blooming

until the ice came down

and made us bend over our hands

in search of something we held and lost.

Leave it all exatly as it is.

There are heartaches enough to live for.

Leave the old worn boots stacked in the hall,

the rotten mattress in the flagstone basement.

Live out your ecstasy on earth

amid the flaking patio stones,

the boarded up back door

and the rusty car.


About Jennifer

Writer teacher mama sister friend sewist poet trying to stay warm in Minnesota's northwest.
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One Response to Eventually

  1. Jenyo, if you were to clean your office, I’d think something was wrong. Seriously.

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