My Cart 


Joseph Mills

On the Interstate, my daughter tells me
she only has two questions.††Iím relieved
because she usually has two hundred.
I say,†Okay, letís have them, and she asks,
What was there before there was anything?
Stupidly, I think I can answer this:
There was grass, forests, fields, meadows, rivers.
She stops me.††No, Daddy.††I mean before
there was anything at all, what was there?
I say that I donít know, so then she asks,
Where do we go when we die?††I tell her
I donít know the answer to this either.
She looks out the side, and I look forward,
then she asks if we can have some music.

From This Miraculous Turning (Press 53, 2014).
Used with the authorís permission.

Joseph Mills is a faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he holds the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. Joe’s published work includes six volumes of poetry, and four nonfiction books. He also writes a column called “String Figures” for ChangeSeven Magazine in which he details his thoughts about trying to learn piano in middle-age. Learn more about Joe at


Post New Comment:
Agree with Glen....loved it. And, actually, 'no answer' is a very loud answer ~ Judy W.
Posted 06/16/2015 12:06 PM
The music of the spheres. Such a logical answer.
Posted 06/16/2015 11:45 AM
Glen Sorestad:
Ah, it was ever thus... I love the poem, Joe.
Posted 06/16/2015 09:57 AM
That moment when our children discover we don't have all the answers. This says it well.
Posted 06/16/2015 07:55 AM
Posted 06/16/2015 07:27 AM
Music! What a good answer.
Posted 06/16/2015 03:22 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchasing books through any poet's Amazon links helps to support Your Daily Poem.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.