Various and Sundry Poetry

how to start over



1.
resist the temptation to wipe the slate clean entirely.
you cannot do this.
you are where you are.
but you can dust. you can mop. you can cleanse your belly
of all the heavy cheeses you ate at last month's holiday parties.
you can initiate the day with decaf.
you can rake four batches of leaves from the lawn.
you can sing, loudly, in the car to no one
but the man on the radio who is singing with you.
you can decide that the apple pie you are craving
will not come from your hands, your oven, your kitchen,
but from the bakery aisle at your neighborhood grocery.

2.
ignore the titles from the self-help shelves and glossy
women's magazines, with their sound bytes of colorful insight.
you do not need a makeover, a diet, a religious conversion.
you do not need to get more in touch with your feelings.
you do not need potassium, or St. John's Wort, or a colonic.
you need a walk, communion with shore birds, a rainstorm,
a glass of wine in front of a fire, lip gloss, a whole evening
of the novel you read only incrementally, at night, before bed.

3.
ignore the calendar, the clock, the larger itineraries
ticking their niggling bits of time.
you will sleep when you need to.
you will know when it is time for water, for a shower,
for a phone call, for a kiss, for solitude, for Indian food,
whatever nourishment you need for your throat, your ears,
the palms of your hands, the hunger just under your skin.

4.
imagine, despite your unbearable faults and fissures,
you are still a thing of beauty, a rare creature, a snowflake,
a singular, spectacular atom circumnavigating the tangled astronomy
of your life the only way you know how.