What You Would Do

by Rachel Creager Ireland

I know I should work on my poems, let them settle for a while, read them over a few more times, look at them later when I can be more objective. But it turns out that mostly they explode out of me, insisting upon being shared with anyone willing to be so subjected, and I am desperate for attention and can’t wait until they are just right.

What You Would Do

Nobody told you, did they,
what you would do for love,
what you would do for children.
Sure, they told you about the flabby
midsection, the flesh stretched too far
to spring back. They told you about the
gray hair and the sleepless nights.
They didn’t tell you about the days
that would feel like one hard kick
after another, when you would feel like
stabbing someone in the sternum and
telling the world to go fuck itself,
but instead you would go in your room
and close the door and cry.
When you’d feel a desperate desire to
get in the car and drive away as far
as half a tank of gas would take you,
instead you would get up off the bed and
pick the children up from school
and bring them home to all the
failures staring at you from every wall,
when you wouldn’t deserve yet another
chance, but you would pick up the phone.
For love, you would be willing to beg.

soccer kids

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