Friday First Drafts

I'm reviving this feature today, even though I don't have a quiet office in which to compose.  There are legos being built in the next room and a Justin Roberts song trickling down the stairs.  The dog is bringing his breakfast to eat at my feet, and the washer is humming its quiet tune.  The ironing is piled nearby, and the newspaper is still in plastic, and someone has just started up a leafblower on campus.  How's a girl supposed to write a poem under these circumstances?  We'll just see what happens.

The Meaning of Good

A durable product:
TV, microwave, couch
Yielding utility over time,
an index of our shared wealth,
a constant buying and selling
for the greater good.

Perhaps a common nicety:
an act of everyday kindness like
feeding a stranger or his meter.
Loaning a book or holding
the door at the bank.
We call these things good.

But this day is more:
it is deep, dark, exacting
in its blood and crown,
whip and taunt and cry.
The temple veil was rent,
and we call it good.

We call it good
and raise a lamentation
We call it good
and return in penitence
We call it good
and remind ourselves
that we know not what we do
or what it means to be good.

Feel free to comment, provide feedback, or make a suggestion.  And if you want to participate in Friday First Drafts,  please share!  I will be glad to post a link.


  1. Wow! Powerful Poem. For me, it raises more questions but they're worthy questions to ask. I like your style (lego, dog and other distractions aside!)

  2. Thanks, Tamara. Do you care to share your questions? I always welcome dialogue.