The Journey

The journey is long
until one day
it isn’t
 
We go along
so focused on
this day, and the next,
and the one after that,
which friends, which cliques, which hobbies,
which college, which cliques, which friends.
And then which shoes
to go with which suit
to wear to the interview
to get the job
we end up hating,
or loving.
And which way
to wear our hair, our makeup, our heart
on that first date with the man,
or the woman
we end up loving,
or hating
and building a life with,
or not.
And where do we live, and how,
and do we have a mortgage?
A child?
More than one? How many?
Then the myriad of questions, decisions, choices
throughout the sleep-deprived days and months and years:
Which day care, play group, school, lessons, activities, college?
And hopefully we make or take
the time to be with them
before they are gone.
And how do we deal
with the guilt that comes
from splitting
a finite pie of time
to feed infinite needs.
And through all this we are working
on that big project, or account or case
or we aren’t;
or we are being down-sized
from that job and looking
(maybe desperately)
for another
or we are starting our own business
which will make it,
or not
with just a little more effort
and a little more time.
And of course
there is the house or condo or apartment
that needs attention:
needs to be filled with stuff
(which also needs attention)
needs to be repaired,
needs to be cleaned,
and eventually needs to be decluttered.
And maybe it will need to be replaced with
another, bigger one,
or maybe a smaller one,
or an accessible one
or one in another city or state or country.
And then one day, perhaps,
a parent needs help.
Help with meals, and medicines, and appointments
and eventually more.
And hopefully we make or take
the time to be with them
before they are gone.
And then there is another house or condo or apartment
and all its stuff that needs attention.
And maybe we have grandchildren, or not,
and maybe we are retiring, or not
and maybe, eventually
we will need help.
And hopefully they make or take
the time to be with us
before we are gone.
 
The journey is long
until one day
it isn’t.

 

The journey is long, and the poem is long.  If you made it this far, thanks!  This long, sprawling, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time poem was inspired by Anna Quindlen’s memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake.

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4 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. Oh my, Mary. That is a journey of a poem. I like it for several reasons: foremost of which is that, apart from being a journey, it was also a story, with a beginning, a middle and a reiterative … ending. Very well conceived.

    Liked by 1 person

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