“A Daily Practice” by Michael Mark

Michael Mark


After I write Temporary on each sticky note
and press them onto socks, silverware, bills,
my hair, I put one on each maple tree in the yard,
and notice I don’t think of them as eternal
as much. All it takes is a single written word
on red, yellow, green tags to remind me
the car isn’t mine. The house isn’t mine. Snow,
money, flowers do that just being themselves
but I stick one on fear and another on hate,
pushing with all my weight so they stay. Dogs
are born with the knowledge, so no need. But
old people, even shrinking in hospice beds, yes.
Somehow they transform Temporary into Still Here.
Babies are so hard, I almost can’t. When the pad
is empty, I wait for the glue to lose its grip and fight
the urge to blow or peel them off. Sometimes a wind
comes. And I stumble around, trying to catch them.

from Poets Respond
May 25, 2021


Michael Mark: “The inventor of the Post-It passed away last week. This invention, that I rely on to this day, is based on a weak glue, so you can peel the note on and off without leaving a history, and a weak memory so we don’t have to remember, just jot it on the pad. What a strong combination of human insight and practicality. It’s darn spiritual.” (web)

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