Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday's Poetry: "Good Bones"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Ohio poet Maggie Smith, long a sustaining force for her craft, saw her fame as a poet skyrocket last year when one of her poems, a piece titled "Good Bones," caught fire with the public in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Orlando and went viral on the internet.  It has since gone on to be translated into several languages and has received worldwide acclaim.

"Good Bones" focuses on the poet's acknowledgment that the world is a troubled place overlaid with her efforts to keep that reality from her children.   She seeks to show them a realistic landscape with the potential to be made beautiful.

"Good Bones" was originally published in the American literary journal, Waxwing, before taking flight on its own on the internet.  Please enjoy.

Good Bones
by Maggie Smith

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.

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