June 19, 2010

Paul Dickey

A KNACK FOR LOSING THINGS

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
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