Out of Our Control

So much is out of our control
who moves in next door
who doesn’t clean up
after their dog
on the sidewalk
in front of
your house

When the bus finally arrives
Whether the check
is in the mail
How your boss
behaves
How anyone
behaves

Who lets you in when
you’re trying to
turn left out of your
neighborhood onto
Columbia Pike
Who stops when
you’re trying to
cross the street

Who is having a bad day
and takes it out
on you
who holds
the door open for you and
all the kids you’ve brought along
and smiles and doesn’t seem to mind
that they are oblivious to the fact of the door

How viruses mutate
whether the nurse assigned to your room
has ever taken care of a patient like you before
Whether the people in charge of your country
decide to start a war
against another country or
against you
Whether someone who looks like you–even a little bit
commits a crime
What DNA you inherit
What your mother did
or did not do while you were
becoming human
Whether she brought you
into the world with joy
or despair

Whether you get put in the class
of a kind kindergarten teacher
or one who should have
already retired or found
another steelier line of work

So much is out of our control
it is a miracle that we find
at the end of the day that
a single thing we set out to do
has been done

A testament
to our optimistic persistence
that we write out
yet another to do list
naively determined to try again
even though
so much is out of our control





2 thoughts on “Out of Our Control

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