“A Knack for Losing Things” by Paul Dickey

Paul Dickey


The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
—Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art”

What has been lost along my careless way
will not come back to me another day,
and let’s be frank, it often will not do
to keep a useful thing its use past due.

Whether a love, or say, a fountain pen,
some things I have today, I won’t again.
Please, if I lose a button, don’t advise
because if I were then to realize,

I’d stop and stay behind too long to look
for what I should not find. The time it took
I could have used to buy a newer shirt,
not stoop to pick up what is claimed by dirt.

Every day a few things loved are lost.
To get them back comes at a greater cost.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009
Tribute to the Sonnet


Paul Dickey: “Poems too sometimes get lost. I hardly recall writing the original draft of this poem, but I am sure that I did. When Tim announced a sonnet issue, I found this in my documents folder under another folder called ‘Desktop’ on my computer. I changed a few words here and there and soon realized my actions were violating the very idea in this poem.”

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