from One Big Self: "My Dear Conflicted Reader"

My Dear Conflicted Reader,

            If you will grant me that most of us have an equivocal nature,
and that when we waken we have not made up our minds which direc-
tion we're headed; so that—you might see a man driving to work in a
perfume- and dye-free shirt, and a woman with an overdone tan hold up
an orange flag in one hand, a Virginia Slim in the other—as if this were
their predestination. Grant me that both of them were likely contemplat-
ing a different scheme of things. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO SPEND
ETERNITY the church marquee demands on the way to my boy's school,
SMOKING OR NON-SMOKING. I admit I had not thought of where or
which direction in exactly those terms. The radio ministry says g-o-d has
a wrong-answer button and we are all waiting for it to go off...

                                          Count your grey hairs

                                          Count your chigger bites

                                          Count your pills

                                          Count the times the phone rings

                                          Count your T cells

                                          Count your mosquito bites

                                          Count the days since your last menses

                                          Count the chickens you've eaten

                                          Count your cankers

                                          Count the storm candles

                                          Count your stitches

                                          Count your broken bones

                                          Count the flies you killed before noon

C. D. Wright, "My Dear Conflicted Reader" from One Big Self. Copyright © 2007 by C. D. Wright.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press,
Source: One Big Self (Copper Canyon Press, 2007)
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