Things on My To Do List: A Poem by Kelly Belmonte


Rilke’s Things sit solid, not alive like humans,
not walking, not speaking except when spoken,
a touchable object, a tree with rough bark, perhaps
a brown pitcher filled with water, you pick it up, pour
out a liquid rush, set it back down again with a
soft bump on a wooden table you have known
for years. Not like my things, which are not to hold
or handle but to do: busy lists, gone when done,
less than dust, still they fill up my day like a landfill.
My mind is crowded by temporary furniture lacking
personality of permanence. Their value is measured in
how quickly they can be eliminated. But I call them
things, as if they have the same substance and
naming right as those other solid Things.


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