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Routine Keeps Me

Text of Poem

I make water in the morning
before I eat breakfast because
one need is greater than another
but I don’t shave unless I want to
until noon— routine keeps me
trimmed, neat, clean and fairly
comfortable, a credit to my profession, 
a relief to my wife, a plus sign
to my banker and a recognition
by the neighbors that I will keep
my lawn mowed and dog tied.
But sometimes when I put on
my work clothes on Saturday and
my church clothes on Sunday, when I
see the dentist every six months,
the doctor once a year, and pay my
bills the first of each month,
buy Christmas presents before Christmas,
birthday presents a day late,
buy a suit in the middle price range,
a new car every third year, avoid
women at parties who seem too friendly,
and men who seem too cold, as I count
the expense of each risk and decide
it’s too much, then sometimes I think
(not in working hours) of the mountain
ground-squirrel who hibernates eight
months of the year and wonder if
he ever wakes up out of season.

First Line
I make water in the morning
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
KPFA Folio 1 (Feb. 1970) 33.
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Twitter Quote
I count / the expense of each risk and decide / it’s too much