To Keep by Letting Go

Sun Through Orchid Copyright 2013 Margaret Dubay Mikus

Sun Through Orchid © 2013 Margaret Dubay Mikus

I have been excavating my desks, the downstairs desk in the kitchen for the house, my upstairs office desk for work. Coming out of an extended time when stuff was saved in piles; I don’t even remember what is in them. A number of discoveries so far, including this poem from 2011 (office desk).

Why I printed it out, I don’t recall, but it’s part of a series of heartfelt poems about giving up poetry after 18 years of writing my poetic journal. And then a poem comes along and I write and somehow keep on. Maybe with a slightly different trajectory or letting go the results.

Just write. See what comes of it, if anything. And the writing itself is the goal, as much as anything is. To be myself, with myself, the words call and I follow. As I must.

What is your equivalent? What insists and calls you? What is most important?


Abrupt Clarity

When I said
I give up on writing
I meant it.

And I meant
I give up on struggle
it is too hard

and I meant it
when I said
it is sad, but not devastating,

not the end of the world
just all I had been building.

And you took it to mean
what it used to mean
coming from my old lips

and cautioned reflection
and wanted to change my mind
or calm my thinking.

I was right,
what is past is done

as far as setting out
my unsustainable future,
it is too hard

and I am giving up
on hard in my life.

Does this mean
I will not put words to page?
apparently not, for here they are

restlessly leading me on.

And when the call came
last night at 3AM
and I thought my son

was wandering lost
in the cold, too far for my help,
there was an abrupt clarity

about what is important to me,
what I can do and not do,
what I have to let go.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2011

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