Love this world as it is

A poem by US poet Maggie Smith that tackles “how hard it is to love this world as it is, and to teach my kids to love it”, has gone viral in the wake of last week’s tragedies.  How unusual that a poem would “go viral.”  It is provocative, and reflects post-modernity’s loss of transcendence.  I took time with it – and encourage you to do the same:

Good Bones by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. 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. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

Smith, who has released three books of poetry with small presses and won the Independent Publisher book awards’ gold medal in poetry for her collection The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, published the poem, Good Bones, in the new issue of American literary journal Waxwing on Wednesday.

With apologies to Ms. Smith I respond with the awareness of the Creator God who made these “good bones” in the first place, and who beckons us to love her as she is:

Good Bones: love this place as it is

Life is short, and my children know this.
Life is short, and I shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, wise ways,
a thousand deliciously wise ways
I give life to my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, and I’ve kept my children informed.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you;
I have let my children know this. I am inspiring
them to love the world as I love her.  Any decent realtor,
walking you through the ruins, chirps on
about good bones: But, this place was created beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

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About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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