On Good Bones, Eclipses, and Awe
My friend and colleague posted the poem below the other day, a poem that I've read at various times in various ways.
Poetry and parables are like that: there are many entrances and exits, depending on your state of mind, mood, and context, and so the meaning shifts depending on the shifts within you. It's entitled "Good Bones" and I had to do a minor edit, but the passion still comes through.
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 [mess], chirps on about good bones: This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful.
I love this poem. But I've been both frustrated and awed by the world recently, though I've tried to keep the former from my children.
The shifts within me the past few weeks have been a bit seismic. I was horrified by Charlottesville, and I know some just wish we could all forget that, but that forgetting that we're constantly doing is part of the problem.