Poem on the last day of the year, 2018

I resolve to stop wanting what I don’t have
or work towards getting it
but not doing the first without the second
(because that hasn’t gotten me anywhere).

I will be ambitious and believe
that I deserve to be paid well
and ask for a price for my work
that will allow me to support my family
and still have time to take care of my child.

When I start worrying
about why certain people
don’t seem to like me
(or at least don’t invite me to their parties)
I will instead focus on the people
who I know do like me
who in fact love me
and whom I love.

I will get rid of the things
that I keep in my life
out of a sense of duty
instead of a sense of joy.

It’s okay to look tired.

I vow to value moving my body
as highly as I value
cleaning the house
getting work done for clients
grocery shopping.

I am a spigot
and like a spigot
I can be shut off
and when I am off
that is called conserving water
and when I am on
all the poems will come flowing out.

Do I call my friends enough?
Do I call my family members enough?
I try to write letters, send texts,
send emails, stay in touch.
But I could do more.

Cobwebs appear out of nowhere.
No. False.
Cobwebs are the abandoned homes
of spiders.
If I ignore them, they will go away.
False again.
Resolution: I will clear out the cobwebs.

If a poet sings a poem
to the woods, are the trees
strengthened by her words?
Of course they are.
Just as the poet is strengthened
by the soundless stature of trees.

I clench my jaw and I furrow my brow
but there are ways to help myself unclench
and I will focus on them next year
especially before falling asleep.

Revelation of 2018:
are overpriced coffees
made with shitty milk.

I am now more prepared
to have a goat one day
since having a baby
because he bleats for his breakfast
and so will she.
(And because I too
have produced milk
& so will never take hers
for granted.)

Making the bed takes two seconds
and makes me feel better about my day.

Instead of anxiously haranguing people
in my head
regarding their purchases of
bottled water
body wash with blue micro scrubbers
out-of-season raspberries
since all of these things are killing the earth
in their own special and hideous ways
I will instead work to make my own life more sustainable
and brainstorm ways to speak
about my climate change fears
to the people I love.

I will stop caring
about whether people judge me
for what I buy at the grocery store.

I will do the hard thing first
(the thing I least want to do)
because then the rest will be gravy.


4 thoughts on “Poem on the last day of the year, 2018

  1. I adore this poem Taylor. Words spoken from the center of my own heart.

    Even though I do not know you well, I loved you from the moment we met, and still have the poetry chapbook I won at the Wild Willow silent auction years ago. Your strength and clarity and unique self come through.

    Wishing you and Misha and baby and future goat a hopeful and rich new year ahead!

    Love, Sally

    – sent from my mobile

    1. Thank you so much, Sally! It’s great to hear from you. Misha and Linden (our 1-year-old son) and I are all doing well, and sinking into a relaxing winter season! Wishing you all the best, from east to west!

  2. Taylor – a heartfelt, spot-on poem for me too on New Years. When I read how you have these stresses, I think, Taylor? She’s perfect! So….we always think the others are better than we are but we all have the same issues, even those that drink bottled water. I am great; you are great; we all are. The resolve is to see ourselves as on the right track and let the detritus fall as it may.
    Love this poem. Wish it went on for 10 pages! Keep writing.
    A joyful, deep 2019 to you and Misha and Linden (my favorite little boy).

    1. Dian, thank you for this lovely comment! I appreciate the ways that poems allow me to to tell the truth in a way that doesn’t fit into normal daily interactions. I can’t wait to see you soon and hear about your trip to Morocco!! xoxo

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