For Wisława

For Wisława

I prefer red shoes.
I prefer keeping old friends.
I prefer tea with honey.
I prefer not holding a grudge.
I prefer long conversations.
I prefer telling it like it is.
I prefer certain kinds of white lies.
I prefer gold leaf.
I prefer the ocean, even on a cloudy day.
I prefer irises to roses.
I prefer Rublev to Rembrandt.
I prefer Malevich to Bierstadt.
I prefer spirited boys.
I prefer poems in the original language.
I prefer telephone calls.
I prefer being known by the manager and waitress.
I prefer a messy kitchen to an empty one.
I prefer a bit of noise.
I prefer real dish towels.
I prefer pondering things in my heart.
I prefer cowboy boots.
I prefer wooden churches to stone cathedrals.
I prefer cellos to pianos.
I prefer Diaghilev to Petipa.
I prefer Welty to Austen.
I prefer Springtime in the South.
I prefer watching the prairie burn in April.
I prefer cheese grits.
I prefer feeling like an outsider.
I prefer tears of all kinds.
I prefer giving it a try.
I prefer a bit of dissension.
I prefer the memory of the battle to the moment of the victory.
I prefer making cinnamon rolls from scratch.
I prefer worries for an infant to worries for a teenager.
I prefer digging in the dirt.
I prefer wine to beer.
I prefer having struggled.
I prefer voices on an old cassette tape.
I prefer knowing some heroes.
I prefer Grandmother’s letters in cursive.
I prefer chalkboards.
I prefer hardbound books with gold inlaid spines.
I prefer seeing my kids surpass me.
I prefer believing that the something beyond can be found here today.

– January 2016

A note: I prefer poetry to prose. And, yet, I know prose is often poetry. Posting some of my past poetry here over the next few months. This one is inspired by one of my favorite poets, Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska, and modeled after her beautiful poem “Możliwości,” often translated into English as “Possibilities.” And, yes, I prefer it in the original Polish. This poem I return to over and over, rewriting my own every few years. My children also write their own versions every few years. 2016 is my most recent, so look for a new one soon. Want to write your own? Share it with me, please!

Published by Erin

My days are so very full. Four sons, a telecommuting job, non-profit work, faith, friends, an over eager desire to volunteer. A bit of silence comes finally at midnight, or later. That's when I process life in the modern world. Join me in the struggle and the laughter.

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