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 shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
Reprinted with gracious permission from the author. Copyright Maggie Smith, all rights reserved.
“Good Bones” first appeared in Waxwing http://waxwingmag.org/items/issue9/28_Smith-Good-Bones.php
There is a beautiful, limited-edition letterpress broadside of the poem available here: https://www.tupelopress.org/product/good-bones-broadside/
Please visit Maggie’s website where you can find more information about her, her poetry, and publications. https://maggiesmithpoet.com