What would happen, I wonder,
If I wrote a poem a day for, like, a year–
Would it just become one of those things I do,
Only to survive?
Like feeding the cats in the morning,
their crunchy food and treats,
George hopping onto the window sill for his,
And then their meat at night, rank on the kitchen floor–
Martha slinking around the corner for hers, sneaky.
Or like shaving, a daily ritual for me–
The feel of a smooth, clean face looking back from the glass,
Smelling of water and soap and shaving cream
Before I find myself in the shower, again,
Rinsing yesterday’s known off to allow today’s evolving mystery.
Would it change me? Make me better? Smarter?
More centered? More focused? More myself?
Or would it just be one of the many things I do without thinking–
Breathing. Dreaming. Eating. Living. Aging.
Lying awake at night to think, “Yeah, that was fun …”
And how would I prepare for such a feat?
By finally reading the Cohen that’s been on my nightstand for years,
Or the slim copy of Howl or the thicker Leaves of Grass,
Both picked up browsing in a used book store,
Waiting for ballet class to end.
And what if I tried to do it but failed to do it, even once–
Would it become another took for the devil of my mind,
Probing me and pricking me and pocking me with regrets,
Like running and swimming and eating my vegetables,
Now turned as soft and mushy as I sometimes see myself?
Well, I think, it’s like I always say–
When faced with the choice of doing something or doing nothing,
It’s always better to do something.
And the line between the doing and preparing and regretting will erode,
Revealing the unity of all our evolving.