Priorities

Things should be done
in order of importance
which means I should exit this room
and enter a state of reflection
before picking up the phone
to offer my condolences
on the death of a certain someone.
After that dreaded
and obligatory task
I should make a few more
phone calls that reinforce my love
to those too far away
to invite to dinner
or to drop in on unexpectedly
on a Sunday afternoon.
But things are never done
in the order of their importance
which is why I’ll just sit here a little longer
watching the sky darken
and descend into shadow
before I go to bed.
I want to cross something simple
off my list, which keeps getting longer
the longer I stare at this page.
The houseplants, for days,
have been thirsty.
They are still alive
and I watch them bow to my power.
The watering can is patient
in the mud sink.
There’s no reason in the world
I can’t fill the goddamn thing with water,
and restore the wilting leaves—
except that it reminds me
how easy it would have been
to make a phone call last week
to someone who will never again
be picking up the phone.

DeMaris Gaunt
8-23-15

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