Keep This to Yourself

Anyway, I don’t believe in
whiskers on kittens, gratitude
journals, fluffy slippers, or
any of those Martha Stewart

Good Things or whatever
it is that Oprah knows
for sure
. I’m a crank,
and I’m meaner than I look.

But I know and you know
that there are still
lowercase, non-italic
(Roman, let’s say)

good things in this world,
and it is still worth
being here, if for no
other reason than to see

what happens next–even if
that thing is terrible
and you can’t stop it, so
it keeps you up at night

or it wakes you up just
before your alarm goes off.
Look, I’m not an optimist.
The power of my positive

thinking? It could maybe,
on a good day, light up
Duluth. Not even. Bemidji,
let’s say. Maybe just

a bar in Bemidji, some dark
little place with whiskey,
beer, and Paul Bunyan. Here
I am, struggling over this

on my couch in Chicago,
and there you are, wherever
it is that you are. If I
could, I’d meet you at that

Paul Bunyan bar in Bemidji,
our good things like tiny
suns, bouncing off ice cubes,
making indoor Northern Lights.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
For November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 5. Prompt: Keep This [Blank].

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7 thoughts on “Keep This to Yourself

    • Wow, thanks, Charlotte! I’m doing some different things this month, and it all seems to be resulting in poems that are a little less buttoned-up than my usual. It’s been a great exercise, and I think I’m learning some things I can use even once this month is done.

    • Thank you! It’s very different for me, and definitely a case where you never would have written a particular poem without a challenge like this. I sort of went into “New York school” mode, which I know from last April’s NaPoWriMo. 🙂

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