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An Account of Failures

Text of Poem

I woke this morning and felt
the day ask me before it started
how to endure facts without some
pious or optimistic butter to
spread on my bread.
I live easily with overcast or
sunny skies, the sweat from work,
the jar and jolt of traffic.
I count dollars, balance a checkbook.
But this morning my conscience bled
from the jibes and stabs of memory.
I would take back words sharp enough
to wound my friends, sweep up
tacks spread for the feet of women
who needed my hand, post a danger sign
by the quicksand where my family
struggled for solid ground.
I wish back the stone that broke
the window of my house when I
pretended to be a stranger.

First Line
I woke this morning and felt
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
West Branch 4 (1979) 65.
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