Poetry Break

“Good Bones” by Maggie Smith

I may have avoided Maggie Smith my entire life had it not been for the Libby App. When I first heard about a poet named by that name, I figured it was that Maggie Smith; I had had enough celebrity poets. But I learned that the poet and the actor weren’t one and the same.

It was a disservice I did to myself, a realization made while listening to Goldenrod. Her words hit hard, deep, and in all the right spots. And, of course, I wanted more.

When “Good Bones” appeared during a YouTube search, I knew this was the poem that I had been seeking:

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.

Good Bones” by Maggie Smith

It made me think of the things I told to my son the day he was born. The promises I made to him. The idea of protecting him from the ugly, and hoping to show him the beauty of this world. Aren’t all good parents “decent realtors” trying to to sell “a real shithole” to their children? That despite all the ugly this world has to offer, there is still beauty in the world and our children – just possibly – “could make this place beautiful?”

“Good Bones” is featured in the collection of the same name.

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