My wife sometimes calls me the absent-minded professor. I have a habit of losing things temporarily. I get distracted, walk off, forget. When I was a child, I was highly unfocused. I bounced from reading to writing to wanting to digging up a dinosaur in the backyard to finding a dirty magazine under my brother's mattress.
That may sound like ADHD. I have never been diagnosed. My mother's solution for my erratic attention was making me take piano lessons. It worked. I was able to practice for extended periods of time at the keyboard. And that ability to concentrate spilled over into other areas of my life.
However, I still get distracted, still misplace things.
Poetry helps Saint Marty focus, as well.
by: Mark Strand
for Robert Penn Warren
It shines in the garden,
in the white foliage of the chestnut tree,
in the brim of my father’s hat
as he walks on the gravel.
In the garden suspended in time
my mother sits in a redwood chair:
light fills the sky,
the folds of her dress,
the roses tangled beside her.
And when my father bends
to whisper in her ear,
when they rise to leave
and the swallows dart
and the moon and stars
have drifted off together, it shines.
Even as you lean over this page,
late and alone, it shines: even nowin the moment before it disappears.