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tearing the rag off the bush again
Contemplating 2010
by Janine Canan

I Should be Dead

Fortunately I should be dead
by the time there is no longer
any ice at all on the Alps.
As a girl, in the desert of the Angels,
Heidi was a book of pure magic—
chalets, cows, fresh cream, and snowy peaks.
It’s all gone now—a whole civilization melting.
I can see a piece of paper with these words
floating downstream into the Ocean.
A Blessed Life

All complaints aside,
I can’t believe how blessed
I have been in this life.
First, I was given a human body.
You might say, doesn’t that mean
an awful lot of suffering,
but I say, Would you really
rather be a cow or
a lizard?
Then I was born in the richest country
on earth where I would want
for nothing materially
and receive the best education
available—and wisely
I appreciated it.
As a result, I became one of the first
free women in the world
in thousands of years.
Freely I wandered, observed,
studied and pondered,
enjoying the greatest thinkers and artists.
Sure, I was insulted, mugged, raped,
beaten and glared at homicidally,
but it was worth it!
I sang my poems, wove my stories,
elaborated my essays, as I sought out
the supreme spiritual masters
who taught me to open my mind and heart,
meditate and pray. I am still learning,
becoming ever more childlike and candid.
Yes, I have suffered, I cannot count the ways.
But even I cannot imagine the good Fortune
that granted me this blessed life.
Lunch at the Depot Hotel

I love this crazy world and I am not
without hope.
Sonoma lettuces, Sicilian olive oil, a few
remaining shrimp, bread from the grasses, invented
by women eons ago, Dubonnet from the red vine of the French,
lovers who honor the Blood, coffee from beans of the South—
this soulful feast inspires me to share with you,
while provincial voices on money and strangers rise
in the next room amid laughter and heavy home-grown wine,   
to share with you that no matter how much change,
no matter how fast, no matter the winds, spreading viruses,
unexpected explosions, rapings of women and babies, grand upheavals
of the Earth—no matter how annoyed Mother Earth becomes,
Life does survive, oh inexpressibly beautiful, that makes dahlias maroon
and huge open their faces to us with—what else can we call it?—Love.
And if there is a better word, let us use that.
Love flowers no matter what,
rest assured.
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