Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9: Malawi, Poet of the Week, Tracy K. Smith, "The Good Life"

Compared to 99% of the world's population, I live a pretty good life.  Plenty of food to eat.  Fresh water to drink.  A house and warm clothes.   I own two cars and have two healthy kids.  I don't have to worry about things like dysentery or malaria.  And I make money.  Lots or money compared to citizens of Malawi or Burundi who subsist on $1.25 a day.

Some days, however, I need a George Bailey moment--a reminder that, despite all of my problems, I really have a wonderful life.  George had a second-class angel to help him out.  Me?  I've got poetry.  In particular, I have Tracy K. Smith.  Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. Poet of the Week.

Tonight, my son is sick.  He has strep throat.  Now, in a different country with different circumstances, my son's life might have been in jeopardy.  Instead, he's in bed, asleep, antibiotics filling his body.  He's going to wake up tomorrow morning, feeling better, ready to go on a field trip with his second grade class.

Saint Marty has a good life.  He's lucky.  Blessed. 

The Good Life

by:  Tracy K. Smith

When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.

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