I have a love/hate relationship with November and December. I think today this push-pull in my energies is off to the races. A poem that fits these contradictory sensations, “Had I not This, or This, I said,” is impossible to attribute to anything very specific. But, it fits my ornery mood.

Had I not This, or This, I said,
Appealing to Myself,
In moment of prosperity –
Inadequate – were Life –

“Thou hast not Me, nor Me” – it said,
In moment of Reverse –
“And yet Thou art industrious –
No need – had’st Thou – of us – “?

My need – was all I had – I said
The need did not reduce –
Because the food – exterminate –
The hunger – does not cease –

But diligence – is sharper –
Proportioned to the chance –
To feed opon the Retrograde –
Enfeebles – the Advance –

Geography, budgets, work schedules, to mention just a few issues, will keep me away from family this holiday season. I enjoy enough prosperity to keep me from complaining and pastimes and responsibilities that I enjoy more than at any time in my life. 

“Had I not This, or This, I said,/Appealing to Myself,” but I only want to make hot chocolate and cookies; then, cuddle up with people I love and talk.  Today this voice of Emily Dickinson is the voice of their absence, “”Thou hast not Me, nor Me” – it said,” is what I hear over everything else. 

“Inadequate – were Life -” and, yet we are all safe, warm and have work we enjoy. “My need – was all I had – I said/The need did not reduce – /Because the food – exterminate – /The hunger – does not cease -”. The need is something that I just have to look at; not try to chase it away with poor substitutes. Perhaps we can talk on the phone, email, or, maybe I’ll shop for Christmas presents concentrating on their personalities, instead of just marking off the list.

But, to have to gain sustenance from their non-presence is contrary to the normal order when I think about what I can do for them without their warmth: “To feed opon the Retrograde -/Enfeebles – the Advance -”.

I wonder if we might get a web cam this year.


Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way