Something Beautiful


Long weekend season is upon us. Holiday season, not enough time or money and slow email response season. Days are shorter and folks are melancholy. This is the time to be cautious, because the feast days sometimes lead to us forgetting what we need to do in order to feel centered and whole. We think we should feel festive, but we forget to do the things that make being truly festive possible. The sweat and the work.

I have been storing the poem below in my drafts for some weeks, and this week it seems perfect. I am feeling dreamy and satisfied and also anxious and ambitious. Different parts of my life–in some places there is enough, in others there is not. I’m writing a new thing. Well an old thing in a new way. I’m getting somewhere with it. I am moving toward the right form. There were some poems that needed to get out, and some old voices that I thought needed silencing, but actually needed to be addressed.

This sums up the act of writing/art making for me: “We are all trying to change/what we fear into something beautiful.”

What is the thing you fear? If you begin to tell it with sincere wonder, it becomes beautiful. Maybe still scary, maybe still awful, but also beautiful.

Your opening line: “If we never have enough…”


by Kelli Russell Agodon

If we never have enough love, we have more than most.
We have lost dogs in our neighborhood and wild coyotes, 
and sometimes we can’t tell them apart. Sometimes
we don’t want to. Once I brought home a coyote and told
my lover we had a new pet. Until it ate our chickens.
Until it ate our chickens, our ducks, and our cat. Sometimes
we make mistakes and call them coincidences. We hold open
the door then wonder how the stranger ended up in our home.
There is a woman on our block who thinks she is feeding bunnies, 
but they are large rats without tails. Remember the farmer’s wife?
Remember the carving knife? We are all trying to change 
what we fear into something beautiful. But even rats need to eat.
Even rats and coyotes and the bones on the trail could be the bones
on our plates. I ordered Cornish hen. I ordered duck. Sometimes 
love hurts. Sometimes the lost dog doesn’t want to be found.

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