Have You Forgotten?

Why do you say
There is no hope?
Why do you act
So doomed?
As if the world had ended.
Or will end soon.

Don’t you understand?
Don’t you see the truth?

Each day of life we get
Is a gift.
Each heartbeat.
Each breath.

Why do you give up
On the future?
On the unknown?
On what hasn’t happened yet?
Do you really know
What is to come?
Do you know
What each day will bring?
Can you see
Ahead in time?

How do you know
The Earth will not quake today?
A gigantic wave
Won’t wash the oceanfront away?
Someone else
Won’t plow their car
Into the side of yours today.

How do you know
This won’t be
Your last day?

Yet you sit there.
Doing nothing.
Not living at all.
Not smiling.
Not laughing.
Not feeling the breeze
Flow past the fingers
Of your hands.
Not feeling the warmth
Of the heat
Within your house.

Not thanking God above
That your heat beats.
That you aren’t
Hooked to a machine
Just to stay alive.

You don’t see the flowers.
You don’t see the clouds
Floating in the sky.
You don’t see the trees
Along the ground.

It’s as if your blind
To everything around.
Everything life gives to you.
Each day.

Even when you know
It doesn’t have to give you
Another day at all.

Why do you stay inside.
Wishing.
Dreaming.
For the days of glory
Long past now?
When you were happy.
When you didn’t have a worry
In the world.

Why do you sit there
And wish
Those days would return?
When you know they can’t.
You know there’s no way
To turn back the clock.
And yet you wish
Things could just be the same
As they were in the days
When you were happy.
When you smiled.
When you laughed.

When the world was a place
You wanted to live in?

Why don’t you want
To be alive right now?

Have you forgotten
The simple joy
Of each breath you take?
Have you forgotten
That you have food to eat
Every day?
More than you need.
More even than you want.
So that you throw food away?

When you know
You could be that person
You saw just yesterday.
The one on the corner.
Dressed in rags.
Outside in the cold.
Without a coat.
Holding up that cardboard sign.
“Will work for food.”

And you sit there
And complain
About your horrible life?
You call that person
With that sign
A failure.
“His kind are what’s wrong
With the world today!”

And your Jesus said,
“The poor will always be here.”

And yet you say,
“Hide them from me!
I don’t want to know
Such people exist!
It spoils my view
Of the world that I live in!”

And you hear the words
Of that song you heard
On the radio
From years ago,
“Get a job,
You fucking slob.”

And you drive away.

Have you really forgotten
The gift you have been given
By life
Every day?

Disciplined? Me?

There it was.
A note from her.
“You’re so disciplined!”
It started.

And I laughed.
Me?
Disciplined?
Since when?

But I thought a while.
I do that, you know.
Think.
It’s how I figure out
This world I never made.

I remembered as I thought.
All the times I’ve heard those words.
Through the decades of life
I’ve been blessed with.

And I finally understood.
It all fell into place.
Another puzzle piece
Made sense.

I would like to say
I’m not disciplined at all.
But I suppose I am
In my own way.

See.
There’s just so much
Other people
Just don’t know.

Let me ask about
Your kitchen sink.
Are there any dirty dishes,
Pots and pans,
And empty cans
In it?
How long have they been there?
Since this morning?
Since last week?
Will the kitchen sink be empty
When your day ends,
And you go to sleep?

Mine won’t.
It almost never is.
I have fits keeping up
With the dishes.

I try.
Gods, how I try.
And sometimes,
I get on a roll,
And get them done
Every morning.
For a week.

And then…
Well…
Things just don’t work out.
And I end up
With dishes in the sink.
Sometimes for several days.
Before I get around
To them.

When was the last time you swept
Your kitchen floor?
Last night?
This morning?
Hell,
Even once a week?

You know.
I can’t remember when
I last swept mine.
It’s been a while.
It’s something
That just slips my mind.

But I get to it
Every now and then.
When my feet tell me,
“I’m not walking in there
Again!”

Thursday was trash-day
In my neighborhood.
Put the trash bin out
By the curb.
And when the truck comes by
It all just goes away.

I’m mostly good at that.
I collect it up
And get it out.
Almost every Thursday.
But.
Every now and then.
I just hose that up.
I get the bin to the curb.
Just before the truck arrives.

And everything inside the house
Collects in the bin
For a whole week.

Silly me.

Then there’s laundry.
Oceans of it.
I’m betting you
Almost never
Run out of socks.
Or pants.
Or under-ware.
Unlike me.
I run out frequently.
Seems I just can’t keep up
With the laundry to be washed.

I end up with it
Piled mountain high
In the hallway downstairs.
Washing it all
At one time.

Even though I know
It would be easier
To wash and fold it
As I go.

Do you vacuum your carpets?
I’m not saying that I don’t.
I mean,
Just this week,
I cleaned the one in the Family room
Right up.
Vacuumed that sucker
Twice.

First time I’ve cleaned it
In two months…

Oh, yeah.
I’m disciplined.

I used to think
This was all bad.
I was such a failure.
Because everyone knows
You do those things
To take care of your home.
And your family.

And I felt like
I was broken.
As if something was wrong.
When I couldn’t keep up
Every day,
And every week,
With the things
Everyone else gets done.

But I’ve learned.

I’m not good at those things.
They’re hard for me to do.
It takes time.
It takes effort.
It’s hard work.
Other things I do
Are simple for me.

And that piece of the puzzle
That just fell into place?
That’s exactly what it says.
I do things
That I can do.
That I like to do.
That make me feel OK.
That make me feel good.

And then I do the things
I have to do.

Isn’t that what you do too?

It makes people feel good,
I suppose,
To have the perfect home.
Where not one single dish
Sits in the kitchen sink.
And you could eat an egg
Off the kitchen floor.

Some people,
I suppose,
Like the idea
Of the carpets being clean.
So you can’t even see
A single cat hair
Anywhere
On them.

And some people
Seem to like
That the laundry’s always clean.
That everything’s all folded,
Put away in drawers,
Or hung up in a closet.

I’ve even known some people
That collect the trash
Through their whole house
Ever single night.
And put it in the trash bin
Before they go to bed.

And I’m OK with that.
But that’s not me.

To me,
They’re disciplined.
And I’m a wild man.
With no rules.
And no discipline at all.

Me?
Disciplined?
Really?

Not one single bit
More than you.

I’m just different.
That’s all.