a poem

Otherwise

I got out of bed
on two strong legs
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took a dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise

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15 thoughts on “a poem

  1. Ah, but therein lies the conundrum. Otherwise could be something worse or it could be something better. It's all in the perspective. I think that the poem actually leads you into thinking the otherwise is something worse. But what if the otherwise were something better? What if the now, in the poem, was the worst?

  2. interesting POV. I'm not sure the poem presents *otherwise* as worse. just different. just…other. unknown. unknowable.What if the now, in the poem, was the worst?

  3. I read it and in my mind, it was kind of giving thanks for the little things in life enjoyed as things could be "otherwise" and that to me meant worse. What does that say for my state of mind. LOL. And then I got to thinking more about it. yeah, so deep, LOL.
    I thought, what if this was a couple that lived day to day, wanting children and every day was nice but just like going through the motions until they could have children and their lives would be "otherwise". As of yet, it was incomplete somehow. So, yeah. My mind did the deep dive in both directions, because that's what my mind does. Takes point X and works out probabilities along tangent Y. LOL

  4. I think the 'otherwise' is a speculation on the things that might have been worse. I think this poem is one of gratitude that one's situation could have been worse but instead is so, so much better.

  5. Yes, but when you have kids, all that stuff, the nooners, the silver cadlesticks, the paintings all go away. LOL. You end up with taking naps when the kids do, selling the silver candlesticks to cover diaper expenses and the artwork becomes stuff your kids doodle on paper with crayons and are posted on the fridge with magnets for the whole world to see. Not that any of that isn't as priceless as all of the above… LOL

  6. I second Aubrey. I think the poem is appreciative of the small pleasures we take for granted in daily life. None of the things the poet mentions is unpleasant or negative; but she seems to be thinking, "What if I wasn't able to do this?"

  7. And….I could add verses about being awoken several times in the night by screaming babies, changing dirty diapers and playing referee to toddler fights all day, and still being thankful that it wasn't "otherwise". :D

  8. I think she's grateful to have a mate and a nice house and good work, and "otherwise" is definitely bad — the first lines, where she mentions the two strong legs, set the tone. the "otherwise" of that would be for sure worse.the last line is about how fleeting anything in life is, so best enjoy it now. when compared to the first line, it implies that she knows aging/time will change all these things — the strong legs, having her mate there, the work, the dog eventually passing away long before she does.

  9. Love the poem and the comments. It's a nice reminder to be thankful. Lately, I feel like my Indian Name should be She of Short Temper. I need to stop and remind myself to keep things in perspective.

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