Posts Tagged ‘to do list’



And there, on the to do list,

somewhere beneath “post office”

and above “pay the bills” is a single word


not yet crossed out. “Peace.”

You’ve written it in ink, as if

to offer it permanence,


an urgency that can’t be erased.

Every day, you look at it,

wondering if this is the day


that goodwill will come as easily

as changing the burned-out lightbulbs

or taking the garbage out.


You almost stop believing

you will ever cross it off.

After a while, it might seem


just like any other thing

you write on your list, then ignore—

like clean beneath the piano


or organize the garage.

But then the news will shake you,

will render your duties


small. And you’ll write it in

at the top of the list

in all caps, underlined in blue,


PEACE, not something to do,

but something to serve,

something to practice


as you move through the day,

something to inform the way

you fold the sheets, you drive


to town, you attend the meeting,

you make the call, you write

the letter, you do what must be done.

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On Immersion

Sometimes it happens this way,
that the sunflowers all petal out
before the night of the first frost,
and you, though of course you have
endless things to do, find yourself
ambushed by golden lucence
and stand there astonished, baptized
by beauty. It happens. Sometimes
it happens this way. Sometimes
you get the whole list crossed through,
all those black lines streaking the page,
like flowerless stems. It happens.
That, too, is a beautiful site,
but not at all the same.

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