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Here you will find the writings of the poet Theodore Waterfield

Good Days and Bad

I almost died a month ago
and the world never noticed.
A bad day with good weather.
I entertained myself that day
with the geography of a hospital.
Where it placed its chairs and tables.
The number of its rooms and spaces.
Where windows were put,
and how much of the world
was visible from its interior.

I had no clue I was dying.
What does it feel like
to have a heart that’s failing,
and read a magazine about cooking?
Have arteries almost closed.
It feels like nothing.
A vague anxiety.
As if dying was inconvenient.
An ineffable nonsense,
hardly worth cosmic attention,
metaphysical quandary.

I was vaguely annoyed by my calm,
my indifference,
the huge denial of myself.
And then I realized
how fictional my life seemed.
Scenarios divided by day and night.
How hard it was to make it important.
How much pleasure there was
in pleasantries.
How important happy endings
justified everything.

Later,
after surgery,
returning to my room,
my center of gravity changed.
It went out to strangers
who had put so much of life
in the skills that saved me.
Who did not think of me as fiction,
but made a bad day good.

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