I am like an architect that can’t find a builder.

I am a slacker when it comes to seeing my plans completed.  I struggle with it all the time. Sometimes I succeed in overcoming this emotional or genetic anchor. Sometimes I don’t. They say the place to start when dealing with a problem is “acceptance.” The idea would be to accept, for example, that the decorative hooks I bought for a room, after carrying the list around for months that reminded me to buy them, are still not on the wall. Finally having bought them, I expected, despite a lifetime of evidence to the contrary, that I would enjoy seeing them hung the next day.  

Though I am smugly pleased to have made the purchase. For it took shopping in more than a few stores to find the ones I liked. The hooks that will make the room complete remain in their packaging after almost a month.

As children bid the Guest “Good night”

And then reluctant turn — 

My flowers raise their pretty lips — 

Then put their nightgowns on.


As children caper when they wake — 

Merry that it is Morn — 

My flowers from a hundred cribs

Will peep, and prance again.

This poem by Emily Dickinson expresses pride in a secret accomplishment.  

Perhaps the poet is equating poems with children who come alive when a guest comes into the house. In an otherwise distracted, mopey household, the poems’, “pretty lips — ” may have been obliged to keep quiet: “Then put their nightgowns on”. But, just as children are irrepressible and “.. caper when they wake — /Merry that it is Morn —” the poems, too, will re-emerge. The poems, “My flowers”, will be like children who cannot be contained in a crib. For they will “Will peep, and prance again”.  

External forces conspired with Dickinson’s internal desires to keep the poems from finding an early and broad readership.  I have a less evident source that blocks completion of my own projects. I enjoy seeing the problem lyricized.


Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way