J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Northern New England Review, Jellyfish Whispers, Third Wednesday, and Common Ground Review.
Nothing Done, Again
Perhaps it’s ennui, or lethargy, or just the response
I’m left with when all the rest have been put to rest.
I’m here and I’m not sure if it’s the weather, or that
the list of demands has dwindled down to so little,
this little, that each item becomes another mountain,
and I delay, misplay each moment, stretch it double
or triple its size till it seems mountainous and more,
like a monster, a minotaur, a mammoth, a Monday.
The things I do, the things I left undone, stagger me.
Now, they persist, insist, and resist, the pests they are.
The pests they’ve become, hang on, like beggars, or
slow moving street people circling or standing by me.
Their hands out, their feet forever in my way, the way
I’d go if unencumbered and properly numbered as free.
Or, perhaps it’s angst, that sorry step-child of ambition,
that unholy holdout of a well over-schooled conscience.
Whatever I decide, it will be the same old shame I feel
This time of day, a work day, and I’ve got nothing done.
I’m revising my life story
Fixing the slips and errors,
Patching up some aspects,
Plundering from others.
I’m mending my life story,
Changing what can be,
Reimagining what can’t.
I’m overhauling my life,
Rearranging some things,
Refurbishing some others,
Resolving and renewing.
I’m correcting my life story,
Catching the misprints,
Missteps and misspellings,
I’m polishing up my life,
Making it smoother,
Something I can tell to you
With a straight face.
I’m realigning things a bit,
Turning trouble into
Triumph, loss to win,
And sorrow to sunrise.
I’m redoing my life story,
Giving it a happy beginning,
A content middle part, and,
Let’s hope, a careful ending.