On the Eve of My 49th Birthday, a Poem by Mick Albright


Every moment of every hour
of every day of your life

you will have an opportunity
to reach out and touch something—

an egg, a key, a shell, a blueberry;
a book, a fork, a leaf, a knob.

The sugar bowl.
But remember, it’s only a bowl
of sugar.

It isn’t a bowl of worry
that you will gain a quick 5 pounds if you put some of it on your oatmeal.

It isn’t a bowl of anticipation that your coffee will be more pleasureful once the fragile white crystals dissolve into its swirling murkiness.

It isn’t a reminder that you need to go to the store because you’re getting low on sugar and you’re also low on cash and so it’s silly to think about more sugar isn’t it because you can’t afford such a luxury anyway since you haven’t been working and your whole life is just like this symbolic little bitter brown steaming cup of coffee that will spend its few meager remaining moments of existence never even getting to know what the sweet taste of pleasure is like,

or reward.

It isn’t another crusted dish to be washed when you’re tired of washing crusty dishes.

It isn’t a reminder that your grandmother died and left you this crystal memento in which to place sugar; or, that today, being that you’re depressed already since you’re almost out of sugar, now, thanks to this sugar bowl, all you can think about is your dead grandmother, and how you’re almost 50 and guess what soon it’s off to the pine box for you, too!

It isn’t these things.
Nor are the key, the shell,

the blueberry—your longing,
your prayers, your loss,

your failure, your mood
indigo. It isn’t these things.

It never was, dear.

So, stop making it carry the weight
of the whole wandering world.

It’s only a bowl of sugar.

(c) 2016 by Mick Albright

(Art: Sugar Bowl & Spoon by Pat Fiorello, 2011)



One response to “On the Eve of My 49th Birthday, a Poem by Mick Albright

  1. It’s a good one, Mick, an original glimpse of you. Sharing a friendship with you, your intelligence, your honesty, your creativity, your heart has made my life sweeter. Happy Birthday, friend. You’re my Mick, and I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

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