Good Bones

Today was one of those days.

I often look to this poem from Maggie Smith (no relation to Dame Maggie Smith of Downton Abbey / Harry Potter fame) when the news and everything else gets too overwhelming.

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.

“Good Bones”, Maggie Smith

I’d like to believe the poem is a hopeful one. There are ‘good bones’ here, we can work with this.

But man oh man, some days are tougher than others.

Think critically dear readers,

Featured image by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “Good Bones

  1. I like the poem–the 50% attitude of it. Maggie isn’t afraid to see both the good and the bad. Most of what we hear is either one way or the other, complaining about the world’s problems or advising us to be positive and happy. Also I like the refrain of keeping it from one’s child.

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    1. I agree, Nicki. The two conflicting ideas — a shade of despair, a shade of hope — that hits hard for me as a mother, especially these days.

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