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Devon Miller-Duggan


Everything will take longer than you planned.
You will plan too many things to do
In every free day, half-day, and hour.
All the things you plan are needful,
Or dutiful, or merciful, contain the possibility of failure
Or bad news, or want some etiquette.
And you will be infinitely distractible by sugar,
Or sex, or clearance tables,
Or the quest for perfectly arranged furniture,
Or deaths, or recipes. The blinds will not be hung today,
The threadbare rug will still be on the floor,
The shelf for family photos leans against the wall tonight
Exactly where you left it in the morning. Thank you notes
And Get Well cards remain unwritten.
Your driver’s license goes on unrenewed.
You forget again and eat before you leave the house, so
Once again your bloodwork’s late. You will disappoint
Yourself, every living, running, malingering day.
And never in your sweet, short life
Will you accept these grinning facts.

From Pinning the Bird to the Wall (Tres Chicas Books, 2008).
Used with the author’s permission.

Devon Miller-Duggan teaches in the English Department of the University of Delaware, is married to an historian, and has two grown daughters and one splendid grandson. She is the author of Pinning the Bird to the Wall, published in  2008 by Tres Chicas Books.


Post New Comment:
so good to know I'm not the only one!
Posted 05/23/2011 11:44 AM
Cory Raymond:
I can definitely relate! Super poem! Great photo too.
Posted 05/23/2011 09:30 AM
The shelf for family photos leans against the wall tonight. Yes! Brevity is the soul of poetry, too.
Posted 05/23/2011 09:06 AM
You've captured it Devon--the "grinning facts." Great poem.
Posted 05/23/2011 08:52 AM
This poem really hits the mark about how the concept of time is changing for me as I age. I wish a day lasted longer! This poem understands.
Posted 05/23/2011 07:54 AM
nancy scott:
Great poem. The only thing I've managed to do on time lately has been to get my driver's license renewed; how else could I get to all those clearance sales!
Posted 05/23/2011 07:01 AM
I love those "grinning facts" so much! Terrific poem.
Posted 05/23/2011 06:40 AM
Julianne Carlile:
That says it.
Posted 05/23/2011 06:25 AM

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